Foundation Stage News

Dear Parents,

A big thank you to all the parents that helped make the library visit a success. The children had a fabulous time listening to stories and looking at books.

We are continuing with our tricky words and sight words in class and are consolidating all the words they have learned so far. Can you practice reading the words at home?

For maths this week children have been counting 1-10. Children have been able to count out the corresponding objects and the have counted lots of our toys, beads, pegs in FS. Can you ask your child to count stairs, pots, tomatoes or anything else at home or out and about for you?

Children are busy in our Winter Wonderland writing letters to Santa, making decorations or creating intricate pictures for our art wall.

Please continue to practice our Christmas songs with your child. A slightly updated version is attached.
It is important as parents we take measures to protect our children online and always be vigilant when they are play games or watching you tube online. Inappropriate content can easily be accessed or viewed, sometimes children can be using an age related app or website when an inappropriate pop up can occur. More information on E-Safety can be found here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/cbeebies/grownups/article-internet-use-and-safety

Homework this week is a mini M booklet that will be given. This is to reinforce the sounds and to use some of the skillsets used in school to develop correct letter formation. As there are many sheets for your child this may take time to complete. Therefore we will be giving children a whole week to complete their homework and will give the work booklets every other week.
Reading books need to come to school with your child every day.

Please do write a comment and sign their diaries.

Dates for your diaries:

On Thursday 13th of December FS Children will be walking to the precinct in the morning to sing carols with the whole school.

In the afternoon FS children will be performing their very own Christmas sing along for you.

We are looking forward to seeing you all.
Enjoy your weekend
FS Team

Foundation Stage Blog – 13 July 2018

On Monday the children brought in a empty plastic bottle and during the day they wrote a special message to a friend or family member to explain that they were stuck on an island and needed some help to be rescued. 

On Tuesday morning the children wrote pirate descriptions for a pirate wanted poster. After lunch the children made up a class story about pirates, they built up the story as they went around the circle, some children chose to write their own stories during their independent learning.

On Wednesday morning the children had their Sports Day practice on the field and participated in a variety of activities which included rugby passing; obstacle course; target throwing; running races; and the standing long jump. In the afternoon the children talked about their school trip with information about what they needed to bring to school, what they needed to wear and what they would be doing during the day. 

On Thursday the children arrived at school very excited about their first ever school trip, to Beale Park. They climbed aboard Bailey’s coach and were soon there. During the day the children were split into groups and explored the park.  In the morning they saw many interesting animals (e.g. peacocks and birds) and met up at the deer park for their picnic lunch in the sunshine. In the afternoon the children enjoyed a ride on the miniature train and a play in the park before getting back on the coach back to school. The day flew by and the children returned to school looking very tired, they were keen to talk about all that they had seen.​

On Friday the children talked about their trip to Beale Park and then went to the ICT suite, where they drew a picture and then typed a sentence using 2Simple 2Publish.

Throughout the week the children have enjoyed singing pirate songs and listening to pirate stories. 

Next week the children have move up morning on Monday and their Sports day will take place on Wednesday morning.

Foundation Stage Blog – 6 July 2018

On Monday the children returned to school with their treasure chests containing special items. They started the day by learning how to make a paper boat. During their independent learning some children followed adult instructions to make their own paper boat, whilst some children wrote about what they had put in their treasure chest and why it was special to them; these activities continued throughout the week. Before lunch the children played Pirate Pictionary, where a child was chosen to draw a picture which related to our topic and the rest of the class had to guess what they had drawn. After lunch the children listened to the story 10 Little Pirates and sang pirate songs. At the end of the day a group of children talked about the special items they had put in their treasure chest. 

On Tuesday morning the children talked about mermaids and mermen, they were asked to share what they already knew about them and whether or not they were real. After lunch the children practised their letter formation for the letters k, l, m, n, o and wrote the tricky words ‘come’ ‘there’ and ‘you’. At the end of the day a different group of children were chosen to talk about the special items they had put in their treasure chest.

On Wednesday morning the children were asked to describe a pirate or a mermaid and were shown how to write descriptive sentences. The children attended a ‘Mad Science’ assembly about a club that will be starting in September and they took home leaflets about this at the end of the day. After lunch another group of children talked about the special items they had put in their treasure chest. 

On Thursday the children recapped their previous learning about subtraction as counting back. During the input they showed increasing confidence and independence when using a number line to count back and find the answer to a subtraction number sentence. Then the children completed a practical subtraction activity where some children had to walk the plank and then the rest of the class had to find out how many pirates were left on the ship. 

During their independent learning the children explored some pirate themed Maths activities: 

Activity 1 –subtracting using shells; 

Activity 2 –pretending to be pirates and stealing other pirates gold coins; 

Activity 3 –completing number sentences using gold coins; 

Activity 4 – subtraction from 10 number line activity; 

Activity 5 – Subtraction game on the interactive whiteboard. Before lunch the children listened to a pirate themed story and sang some pirate songs. During the afternoon the children were treated to a music session with Eva-Jane’s mum, who showed the children how to use a loop station to make different voice effects and pre-record music. The children thoroughly enjoyed singing in the microphone and having a go on the drums and symbols. The children also learnt how to keep a beat and explored making loud and quiet sounds with instruments. 

On Friday the children consolidated their learning about subtraction and explored finding one less than a given number up to 20. 

During PE this week the children warmed up by playing ‘stuck, stuck, shark’ (adapted version of stuck in the mud) and then they engaged in team games which included: throwing a bean bag into a hoop; running races; and an obstacle course.

During ICT this week the children used the software 2Simple 2Paint a Picture to create a a treasure map or a mermaid underwater picture using the pen tools. To end the week the children attended the whole-school celebration assembly.

In addition to this the children have been engaging in a variety of pirate themed activities during their independent learning, some of which include: writing about pirates using pirate themed word mats; making scrolls; making maps; sharing sea shells; under the sea role play area; investigating sea shells, starfish and coral at the investigation table; pirates and pirate ship small world exploration outside; making a submarine using crates; boats and playmobil people in the water tray; guttering and metal stands to make a water stream; making a desert island using playdough; and looking at sea themed stories (e.g. The rainbow fish, Sharing a Shell)

Foundation Stage Blog – 29 June 2018

Over the weekend the pirates visited Beechwood and Captain Jack left the children a message explaining that some of his treasure was missing! The children used the pirates map to search the outdoor area and find lots of treasure. Then the children created their own treasure maps. Before lunch the children talked about and counted the treasure they had found throughout the morning. After lunch the children listened to a pirate story and sang the song A pirate went to sea, sea, sea. On Tuesday morning the children were shown how to write a letter back to Captain Jack and his pirates explaining that they had found their treasure. Following this the children engaged in a variety of pirate themed Literacy activities:

Activity 1 – writing a letter to the pirates;

Activity 2 – writing about what they would do if they were a pirate, e.g. If I was a pirate I would sail the seven seas;

Activity 3 – making a pirate hat;

Activity 4 – labelling a picture of a pirate;

Activity 5 – designing their own pirate flag.

After lunch the children practised their letter formation for the letters p, q, r, s, t and wrote the tricky words ‘come’ ‘they’ and ‘like’. At the end of the day the children looked at their Knock, Knock Book and individual children were chosen to speak in front of the class about their family and things they like to do at home. On Wednesday morning the children learnt about famous pirates. After lunch the children listened to the story Pirates Love Underpants. At the end of the day FSR performed their ‘Under the sea’ themed assembly. The Foundation Stage staff would like to say well done to the children for using clear loud voices when saying their part and for their fantastic singing. On Thursday the children received another letter from the pirates and Captain Jack explaining how many pirates were on their ship and that they needed the children’s help. The pirates asked the children to share the treasure that they had found fairly between the six pirates. The children answered questions such as “What does sharing mean? How do we share a number? How do we make sure we share fairly?”

During their independent learning the children explored some pirate themed Maths activities:

Activity 1–Share gold coins between a group of pirates;

Activity 2 –halving pirate coins;

Activity 3 – sharing shells between different pots;

Activity 4 – which fish is the heaviest? Weighing fish using cubes and recording their results;

Activity 5– Sharing feathers between parrots.

After lunch the children talked about their outdoor areas and what they like to do during their independent learning time outside. The children were asked to think about what other resources they would like to have outside and they made suggestions such as tennis balls, bats and balls, horses, a fairy house and a trampoline. At the end of the day the children sang some pirate themed songs.

On Friday the children went outside to complete a maths activity. There were 5 large hoops laid out on the floor and the children had to share themselves fairly between the hoops. After this the teachers challenged the children to share different amounts of children between different amounts of hoops.

This week the children have shown a developing understanding of the difference between doubling, halving and sharing. Before lunch the children showcased their treasure chests they had been making throughout the week. The teachers explained that the children will take their treasure chest home this weekend and that they need to find one special treasure to put in their chest and bring it back to school on Monday. The children were asked to think about which special item they would keep in their treasure chest and shared their ideas with a talk partner.

During PE this week the children warmed up by playing ‘stuck, stuck, shark’ (adapted version of stuck in the mud) and then they engaged in team games which included: throwing a bean bag into a hoop; running races; and an obstacle course.

During ICT this week the children used the software 2Simple 2Paint a Picture to create a pirate scene, desert island or a treasure map using the pen tools.

To end the week the children attended the whole-school celebration assembly.

In addition to this the children have been engaging in a variety of pirate themed activities during their independent learning, some of which include: writing about pirates using pirate themed word mats; making scrolls; making maps; sharing sea shells; under the sea role play area; investigating sea shells, starfish and coral at the investigation table; pirates and pirate ship small world exploration outside; making a submarine using crates; boats and playmobil people in the water tray; guttering and metal stands to make a water stream; making a desert island using playdough; and looking at sea themed stories (e.g. The rainbow fish, Sharing a Shell).

Foundation Stage Blog – 22 June 2018

This week the children have been learning all about sharks! On Monday morning the children listened to the storyShark in the Dark. After listening to the story the children had to think about how the fish could have scared the shark away. Following this the children developed their knowledge about sharks by looking at facts and the different types of sharks. During their independent learning the children wrote their weekend news. Before lunch the children sang some sea themed songs. After lunch the children listened to the story The Fish who Cried Shark! The story shared the same message as ‘The Boy who Cried Wolf’, the children talked about why the animals didn’t listen to the fish when he cried shark at the end of the story. The children developed their understanding of the importance of always being honest.

On Tuesday the children were shown how to write facts about sharks, remembering to use: finger spaces; full stops; capital letters; tricky words; and making phonetic spelling attempts. Following this the children engaged in a variety of shark and sea animal activities: Activity 1 – writing shark facts; Activity 2 – writing words to describe sharks; Activity 3 – looking at non-fiction books about sea animals; Activity 4 – fish and sea creatures in the water tray (FSR) making shark hats (FSF); Activity 5 – children to drew and labelled sea animals. After lunch the children practised their letter formation for the sounds k, l, m, n, o and practised writing the tricky words ‘she’ ‘are’ ‘all’. To end the day the children looked at their knock, knock book and the children talked in front of the class to develop their self-confidence.

On Wednesday the children were shown some sentences about sea animals with some mistakes, for example, missing finger spaces between words, no full stop or full stop in the wrong place, no capital letter. The children were challenged to identify the mistakes and correct the sentences. After lunch the children watched a video about sharks swimming in the sea and further developed their knowledge of sharks. At the end of the day the children attended singing assembly. FSR’s class assembly is next Wednesday (27th June) at 2:30pm.

On Thursday the children developed their understanding of doubling by doubling groups of shells. The children were asked to explain what doubling means and how they double a number. During their independent learning the children explored some Maths activities: Activity 1 –doubling groups of shell shaped pasta; Activity 2 –halving and sharing fish for the shark; Activity 3 – fish size ordering; Activity 4 – which fish is the heaviest? Weighing fish using cubes and recording their results; Activity 5 – which container holds the most? (FSR) buying fish with 1p coins (FSF). Before lunch the children sang a song to develop their understanding of doubling (1 and 1 is two, bend down and touch your shoe; 2 and 2 is four, bend down and touch the floor; 3 and 3 is six, do some finger clicks; 4 and 4 is eight, stretch up really straight; 5 and 5  is ten, we’re going to start again). After lunch the children practised their handwriting and tricky words.

On Friday the children explored halving and sharing fish for the sharks to eat. The children shared fish biscuits between two sharks and were asked to explain what halving means and how they can halve a group of objects fairly. Following this the children were challenged to share a group of fish fairly between 3 sharks. Before lunch the children sang sea themed songs.

During PE this week the children warmed up by playing ‘stuck, stuck, shark’ (adapted version of stuck in the mud) and then they engaged in team games which included: throwing a bean bag into a hoop; running races; and an obstacle course. During ICT this week the children use the software 2Simple 2Paint a Picture to create an underwater scene using the pen tools. To end the week the children attended the whole-school celebration assembly.

Foundation Stage Blog – 15 June 2018

This week the children have continued their under the sea adventure. On Monday morning the children looked at the mind maps they had created the previous week and tried to find answers to their questions using the internet and non-fiction books. During their independent learning the children wrote about what they had been doing during the weekend. Before lunch the children sang some sea themed songs. After lunch the children listened to the story The Rainbow Fish, they showed a good understanding about the importance of sharing and having friends. The children compared how the Rainbow Fish felt at the beginning of the story and how he felt at the end of the story.

On Tuesday the children learnt some under the sea facts using the internet, non-fiction books, which the children had brought in from home. Following this the children were shown a video about being in a submarine to inspire their independent writing where the children were challenged to write about what they would see if they were in a submarine, during their independent learning they also sequenced pictures fromThe Rainbow Fish story. After lunch the children practised their letter formation for the sounds f, g, h, i, j and practised writing the tricky words ‘of’ ‘was’ ‘they’. To end the day the children sang their sea themed songs and talked about their learning.

On Wednesday the children looked at an under the sea information PowerPoint to develop their knowledge about life under the sea. It has been great to see the children independently writing facts about sea animals and The Rainbow Fish story. After lunch the children talked about respect and how they needed to respect their adults, peers, belongings and school equipment. At the end of the day FSF performed their class assembly about superheroes and the story Superworm. Well done all the children for their fantastic performance and for using such clear voices, their assembly was thoroughly enjoyed by the whole-school. FSR’s class assembly will be on Wednesday 27th June at 2:30pm.

On Thursday the children developed their understanding of subtraction as counting back using sea creatures and number lines. The children saw an amount of animals, circled the number on their number line, took some animals away and jumped back along their number line to find the answer. During their independent learning the children explored some subtraction activities: Activity 1 –children have 10 counting objects, roll a dice and then subtract the amount by taking objects away, lastly the children recorded their subtraction number sentence on a whiteboard;Activity 2 – the children read a given subtraction and jumped back along a number line to find the answer; Activity 3 – undersea colour and count activity where the children had to count how many of each sea animal was hidden in a picture. Before lunch the children sang some subtraction songs, for example 10 green bottles; 10 little monkeys; 10 little men in a flying saucer; and 5 speckled frogs. After lunch the children practised their handwriting and tricky words.

On Friday the children counted how many sea animals were on the interactive whiteboard, rolled a dice and then subtracted that many animals to find out how many were left. The children used their number lines to find the answer (circling the 1st number, jumping back the amount on a dice and then circling the answer). It would be fantastic to see the children using a number line to complete a subtraction at home. Before lunch the children developed their understanding of finding one more or one less than a given number up to 20 using a number line and fishes. The children were asked to count a group of fish and then answer questions such as: How many would there be if I took one away? How many did we start with, what is one less than…? How many would there be if I add one more?

During PE this week the children warmed up by playing ‘stuck, stuck, shark’ (adapted version of stuck in the mud) and then they engaged in team games which included: throwing a bean bag into a hoop; running races; and an obstacle course. During ICT this week the children demonstrated their ability to use an Ipad to take a picture or make a video. The children thoroughly enjoyed walking around the environment taking their own pictures with the school’s Ipads and it was entertaining to watch their videos after school.

This image shows how to use a numberline to count back:

 

 

 

 

Foundation Stage Blog – 8 June 2018

This week the children immersed themselves into their under the sea adventure. To start the new topic the children shared what they knew about under the sea and what they wanted to find out. Following this the children engaged in a variety of craft activities to make crabs, starfish, jellyfish and fishes. The children watched a video about scuba diving and thought about what they would do if they were a scuba diver. After lunch the children listened to the story Commotion in the Ocean and developed their knowledge of some animals which live under the sea and their characteristics.

On Tuesday the children thought of words to describe some of the animals in the Commotion in the Ocean story. Following this the children were shown how to put their descriptive words into a sentence. The children were challenged to write their own descriptive sentences during their learning time and they also labelled pictures of a turtle and a fish. After lunch the children practised their letter formation for the sounds a, b, c, d, e and practised writing the tricky words ‘be’ ‘to’ ‘my’.

On Wednesday the children were given clues and they had to guess which sea animal they thought it was. Following this the children created their own ‘what am I?’ lift the flap card, where they wrote clues and then drew their animal inside. It was great to see the children’s confidence to write independently developing.

On Thursday the children developed their understanding of addition as counting on using sea creatures and number lines. The children saw an amount of animals, circled the number on their number line, counted some more animals and jumped on along their number line to find the answer. During their independent learning the children explored some addition activities: Activity 1 -roll 2 dice and add the dots, then record the corresponding addition; Activity 2 – put some counting objects on either side of a strip of paper and then remove the strip of paper and count how many altogether, finally the children recorded their addition on a whiteboard; Activity 3 – cut and stick 1-20 ordering activity. Before lunch the children looked at the Commotion in the Ocean story and identified the rhyming words for each animal and then the children were asked to think of additional words that rhyme with words from the story. After lunch the children practised their handwriting and tricky words.

On Friday the children used playing cards 1-10 to create additions. 2 children were chosen to come a choose a card and then the children used their number lines to find the answer (circling the 1st number, jumping on a given amount and then circling the answer). It would be fantastic to see the children using a number line to complete an addition at home. Before lunch the children adapted the rhyme Little Miss Muffet to create their own rhyme about a little orange fish and a big grey shark. It was lovely to see the children’s rhyming developing throughout the week.

During PE this week the children warmed up by playing ‘stuck, stuck, shark’ (adapted version of stuck in the mud) and then they engaged in team games which included: throwing a bean bag into a hoop; running races; and an obstacle course.

During ICT this week the children continued to develop their addition by playing the game ‘Save the whale’ on www.ictgames.com The children dragged up the pipe to show how many more they needed to make a given number and then they had to click on the wheel to see if they have saved him.

This image shows how to use a numberline to count on.

 

 

 

Foundation Stage Blog – 25 May 2018

Stringman’s adventures continued this week with different areas being tied up with string.

On Monday the children talked about their weekend with a partner. Following this the children drew a picture and wrote about their weekend as part of the days learning mission. Before lunch the children made a friendship web, where they chose a friend to roll the ball of string to and then they said something they liked about that them. After lunch the children listened to the Supertato story and they learnt about the Evil Pea!

On Tuesday  the children received a note from Stringman saying how the children will not be able to stop him. The children’s learning mission was to write a letter to Stringman and some children used their creativity to think of different superheroes who they could ask to help them, one of which was Scissorman so that he could cut through Stringman’s traps. After lunch the children practised their handwriting for the letters d, a, b, p, g and wrote the tricky words ‘go’ ‘are’ ‘they’. To end the day the children looked at their knock, knock book and the child who’s picture was revealed came up to the front of the class and shared something they had been doing at home. It was wonderful to see the children’s confidence to speak in front of a familiar group. The children are developing their ability to ask questions using who, what, where, why and how question words.

On Wednesday the children explored subtraction using Evil Peas. The children counted how many Evil Peas were on a plate and then a child was chosen to take away some Evil Peas, the children counted how many had been taken away and lastly they used a numberline to count back to find out how many Evil Peas were left on the plate. After lunch the children talked about why Evil Pea was unkind and talked about what they can do if they see someone being unkind. The children talked about kind words and kind hands and the importance of being kind to their friends. The children enjoyed going to watch 1J’s class assembly at the end of the day on Wednesday and they are excited about doing their class assemblies after half term (FSF -13.6.18 and FSR – 27.6.18 ).

On Thursday the children learnt how to write an invitation and their learning mission was to write an invitation for a superhero party. Before lunch the children recapped which learning superheroes they have been during the week. After lunch the children practised their handwriting and tricky words. It was lovely to see the parents coming into the Foundation Stage to look at their child’s Learning Journey at the end of the day. The children showed great pride in showing their parents what they have been doing at school.

On Friday the children received a coded message from Stringman, they explored the outdoor area to hunt for letter clues and then they tried to crack the code. Before lunch the children had a class discussion about what Stringman’s message said. The children ended the week with celebration assembly. During this week’s PE the children warmed up doing various superhero actions and then they explored the trim trail equipment on the field and had superhero races. To cool down before returning to the classroom the children played sleeping superheroes. When the children went to the ICT suite this week they played a game where they had to make a healthy lunchbox http://www.foodafactoflife.org.uk/Activity.aspx?siteId=1&sectionId=61&contentId=56.

The children have engaged in a variety of superhero themed activities throughout the week during their independent learning, some of which included: Superhero word mats and writing templates; vegetable weighing; vegetable measuring using unifix cubes and rulers; making supertatoes; make lolly stick superheroes;  Supertato vegetables speech bubble writing; making superhero hide outs; getting Evil Peas out of the sand using tweezers; making water slides using guttering and metal stands; superhero threading; vegetable printing; painting superheroes; and looking at superhero stories in the book areas.

We hope the children have an enjoyable and restful half term and come back to school ready to learn on 4th June.

Foundation Stage Blog – 18 May 2018

When the children arrived at school on Monday they found that some of their toys had been tied up with string! When the children came into the classroom they found a letter from the person who had trapped the toys but the children were still not sure who had done it. The children were challenged to crack the code by finding letters hidden in the outdoor area to reveal who the baddie was. There were gasps of excitement as the children realised it was Stringman! The children explained Stringman’s super power is that he can tie things up and trap things with string. During the week Stringman has returned with more messages and has trapped toys in different places in the outdoor area. The children have engaged themselves in the superhero theme and have written messages back to Stringman.

On Monday the children developed their understanding of subtraction as counting back using a number line. The children read a subtraction and then they circled the first number and jumped back the second number in the subtraction. Lastly they circled the number they landed on and recorded the answer to the subtraction. It would be lovely to see the children practising this at home to consolidate their learning.

 

During story time on Monday the children listened to the story Superworm by Julia Donaldson and then they talked about Superworm’s adventures and how he saves people.

On Tuesday the children looked at different superheroes and thought about who could help protect their outdoor area from Stringman. The children’s learning mission was to create a superhero passport.

On Wednesday the children learnt how to write a letter to a superhero asking for their help. The children were shown how to write super sentences which included using phonics to spell words, finger spaces, full stops and capital letters. Following this the children’s learning mission was to independently write a letter to a superhero asking for their help.

On Thursday the children were introduced to learning superheroes which linked to the Characteristics of Effective Learning. The children’s mission was to be a learning superhero and plan which superheroes they will be during the morning, afternoon and evening. Before lunch the children played tricky word splat. The children listened to an adult saying a tricky word and then they had to splat the word on their bingo mat. During this activity the children read and identified the following words: no, go, I, into, the, to, back, but, mum, big, dad.

On Friday the children learnt how to draw a story map for the Superworm story and then watched an adult modelling how to write sentences about the Superworm story, remembering to use their phonics to spell words, leave finger spaces between words, include full stops at the end of a sentence and using capital letters at the start of the sentence and for people’s names. The children’s learning mission was to order superhero pictures according to their size.

This week’s handwriting has focused on the letters v, w, m, k, and p. The children have been learning about tricky words and have been reading the words the, to, no, go, he, she, we, my, me, was, they, are. It has been great to see the children recognising common irregular words (tricky words) in their reading this week. Parents can help their child to learn common irregular words by watching the following videos https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TvMyssfAUx0 (phase 2) and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R087lYrRpgY (phase 3).

During this week’s PE the children warmed up by taking big superhero steps around the field. Then they developed their ball skills by throwing, rolling and kicking a ball to a partner. The children enjoyed participating in team races where they ran, jumped and weaved in and out of cones. To cool down the children laid in a superhero pose on the ground and listened to their heartbeat as it slowed down after exercise.

This week’s PSHE focused on how words and actions can hurt others and how to deal with conflict when interacting with their peers. In addition to our busy week the children have been engaging in a variety of activities during their independent learning. Some of which include: designing a superhero costume; superhero writing frames with superhero word mats; writing secret messages using the wax resist effect; using numicon to make a superhero skyline both indoors and outside; making superhero masks, walkie talkies and bracelets in the creative area; making stick superheroes; playing in the superhero cave and hideout; magnetic and non-magnetic sorting; building a superhero den or bat cat using construction materials; making a superhero obstacle course; making mini sand castles in wet sand; action men in slime; superhero threading; and looking at superhero themed books.

Foundation Stage Blog – 11 May 2018

This week the Foundation Stage children have been learning about the months and seasons. On Tuesday the children talked to a partner about what they had been doing during the hot and sunny bank holiday weekend and then the children wrote their weekend news during an adult-led activity. During their independent learning the children were supported to make their own Stick Man using sticks, googly eyes and pipe cleaners. At the end of the day the children listened to the Stick Man story and talked about the different adventures Stick Man went on during the book.

On Wednesday the children ordered the months of the year,  learnt a months of the year song https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5enDRrWyXaw and engaged in a whole-class discussion about how many months there are in a year; which month we are in now; which month we will be in next; which month their birthday is in; and we talked about what the weather is like during the different months of the year. The children were challenged to use their Stick Man to find classroom objects which were longer than, shorter than or the same length as their Stick Man. It would be wonderful to see the children demonstrating this at home and for parents to upload these observations onto Tapestry. This week’s PSHE discussion focused on feeling lonely and what the children could do if they saw someone looking lonely, which led on to a discussion about how to be a kind friend. The children have enjoyed watching the Stick Man animationhttp://www.dailymotion.com/video/x3ki25z during this week’s story times. Wednesday’s adult-led activity focused on sequencing the Stick Man story, in addition to this some children wrote which season linked to each picture and some children wrote about what Stick Man did for the different seasons, e.g. In Winter Stick Man was used as a snowman’s arm.

On Thursday morning the children recapped their previous learning about the four seasons and looked at which months were matched to which season. Following this the children had to guess which season was being revealed by looking at parts of a picture and then the children matched picture clues with their corresponding season. Thursday’s learning challenge was to write a letter to the stick family from Stick Man asking for their help to save him from his adventures. Before lunch the children acted out the rhyme ‘15 Little Stick Men’ and discussed there being one less each time and counting back. During Thursday’s adult-led activity the children were asked to write about an adventure Stick Man could go on next. It was great to see the children using their imaginations to think of new adventures. We have been supporting the children to use their phonic knowledge to spell words, use finger spaces between their words, using full stops at the end of their sentences, starting sentences with a capital letter, reading what they have written to check it makes sense and trying to sit their letters on the line. Throughout the week it has been excellent to see the children’s writing abilities progressing.

On Friday morning the children explored the concept of addition using Stickmen. The children used their fingers to count on and find out how many Stick Men there were altogether. Friday’s learning challenge was to draw a map of Stickman’s adventures and to write annotations on their map to explain what is happening in their pictures. Before lunch the children explored the concept of addition and counting on using number lines.

This week’s handwriting has focused on the letters b, n, h, r and j. The children have been learning about tricky words and have been reading the words the, to, no, go, he, she, we, my, me, was. It has been fantastic to see the children starting to use common irregular words (tricky words) in their writing this week. During this week’s PE the children acted out Stick Man’s adventures using apparatus e.g. balance along a bench; climbing table with a mat to jump onto; log rolls on a mat; weaving in and out of cones with a bat and a ball; climbing on apparatus. The children ended their PE lesson by playing sleeping sticks.

In ICT this week the children have been using 2Simple 2Paint a Picture to draw a picture of Stick Man and his family. In addition to our busy week the children have been engaging in a variety of activities during their independent learning. Some of which include: Writing about their favourite season; making mini-books; writing tricky words on the chalk board outside; adding with sticks; counting natural objects outside; dress Lecky game on Interactive Whiteboards http://www.crickweb.co.uk/Early-Years.html; cut and stick dress a child for the right season; creating suns and clouds to hang in the outdoor area; exploring the giants castle role play area; investigation table – looking at tadpoles, chrysalis, sunflowers and cress; Stick Man story tray; building a house for Stick Man and his family using sticks; ordering sand castles by height; bottles and funnels in the water tray; painting a seasonal picture; painting with sticks outside; and looking at different Julia Donaldson stories in the reading area.

Foundation Stage Blog – 4 May 2018

This week the children have continued their topic about growing, with the focus being on plant growth. On Monday the children talked about their weekend news with a partner and then they were challenged to draw a picture and write simple sentences about their weekend during independent learning time. Monday’s Maths focused on the concept of addition and how to count on using a number line to find the answer.
On Tuesday morning the children received a letter from the school care taker about helping him to grow some sunflowers. The children looked at the sunflower seeds and talked about how to plant a seed. During Tuesday’s adult-led activity the children planted their own sunflower seeds, which we are watching grow in school initially and then the children will bring their sunflowers home to plant in their garden. Tuesday’s learning challenge was for the children to write instructions and draw pictures to explain how to plant a seed. In the afternoon the children learnt about the sunflower life cycle and we looked at a non-fiction book to show what will happen to their seed at the different stages of the life cycle. The children are being very patient observing the changes in their sunflowers at school and are ensuring that they water their plants regularly.
On Wednesday morning the children listened to the Jack and the Beanstalk story and the children were challenged to think of different things they would of found if they had climbed the beanstalk as their learning challenge. It was lovely to hear the children talking about their family with the rest of the class and we would like to thank all the parents for sending in their family photos. At the end of the day the children listened to a topic themed book e.g. Eddie’s Garden. Wednesday’s adult-led activity involved the children counting 2 groups of beans and then adding them together. The children continued this learning outside by measuring how many daisies were in their circle and then how many daisies they had with a partner.
On Thursday the children went on a mini-beast hunt around the school grounds. The children worked with a partner to record their observations. When they returned to the classroom the children shared what they had seen and where they had found the different mini-beasts. During their group time some children practised reading CVC words and some children practised reading tricky words. The children scrunched up their word up into a ball and threw it in the middle of the circle and then they chose a new word to read. During Thursday’s adult-led activity the children drew pictures of mini-beasts and labelled them/ wrote a list of the mini-beasts they had seen during the morning/ wrote a list of mini-beasts they had seen with explanations of where they found each mini-beast.  The children’s learning challenge on Thursday was to find the different mini-beast pictures around the classroom and record how many of each mini-beast they saw.
On Friday the children received a letter from Jack asking them to help him with the challenge of finding out which container would hold the most beans. The children chose a container, estimated how many  cups they thought it would take the fill the container and then accurately measured how many cups it took to fill the container. The children’s learning challenge was to write a letter to Jack to explain what they had found out from the investigation. Before lunch the children looked at how their caterpillars had changed since last week and made their own recordings of what had happened. It has been wonderful to see the children developing their confidence to write independently over the last few weeks. Friday’s adult-led activities focused on addition, doubling, halving and sharing.
This week’s handwriting has focused on the letters i, l, t, u and y. The children have been learning about tricky words and have been reading the words the, to, no, go, he, she, we, my, me, was. It would be great if the children could have a tricky word hunt around the house to help the children to read their tricky words. During this week’s PE the children moved like mini-beasts e.g. wiggle like a worm, fly like a butterfly, slither like a snail, buzz like a bee and crawl like a spider or a ladybird. In ICT this week the children have been using 2Simple 2Paint a Picture to draw a picture of a mini-beast.
In addition to our busy week the children have been engaging in a variety of activities during their independent learning. Some of which include: labelling min-beasts; Jack and the Beanstalk writing; mini-beast word hunt; measuring and comparing mini-beasts; hungry caterpillar dominoes; Exploring the giant’s castle in the role play area; measuring the capacity of containers using rice; painting sunflower pictures using forks; and looking at growing books.
We are continuing to inspire the children’s love of reading and additional information about how you can support your child’s reading at home can be found at: https://www.booktrust.org.uk/globalassets/resources/misc/reading-with-your-child/reading-with-your-child-booklet-for-parents.pdf
This document is available in up to 28 different languages. This term we introduced the ‘Book Worm’ challenge where children earn a place on the book worm display when they read every day for seven consecutive days. The FS staff check the children’s reading diaries on a Friday, please ensure that you sign your child’s reading diary to show when they have read at home.

Foundation Stage Blog – 27 April 2017

This week the children have continued their topic of growing and life cycles. On Monday the children talked about their weekend and then they were challenged to write their weekend news during independent learning time. Before lunch the children engaged in a maths activity to support and develop their mathematical understanding, some of the activities included: recognising numbers 11-20; finding one less than a group of 5 and then 10 objects; and using quantities to subtract two single-digit numbers and count back to find the answer. This week’s handwriting focused on correctly forming the letters q, s, f and e. The children have been learning a tricky word song and are starting to read/ write them. Monday’s adult-led activity involved the children making amounts using 1p and 2p coins to buy items, some children were given a group of coins and asked to calculate how much money was in the piggy bank.
On Tuesday the children learnt about the frog life cycle and were challenged to complete a frog life cycle cut and stick activity. During the afternoon the children talked about how their caterpillars have changed since they arrived last Friday. They ended the day by looking at the class ‘knock, knock book’ and children were chosen to talk about their family or something they like to do at home. During this week’s PE the children participated in a cosmic kids yoga session based on the story of The Hungry Caterpillar (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xhWDiQRrC1Y) Tuesday’s adult-led activity involved some children unscrambling and writing a sentence and some children using their phonic knowledge to write CVC words to label a picture.
On Wednesday the children received a surprise of some real tadpoles and frogspawn which a child had collected during the Easter holidays. The children were shown how to make a frog using different media and materials, which they were then challenged to make during their independent leanring. During this week’s PSHE the children discussed the jobs which the adults in their families do (e.g hoovering, cooking, washing the dishes) it was excellent to see the children role-playing these experiences in the home corner. Wednesday’s adult-led activities focused on doubling ladybirds, finding one more or one less than a number up to 6, or doubling and halving groups of objects.
On Thursday the children learnt about the lifecycle of a chicken and were then encouraged to complete the chick lifecycle learning challenge where they had to write simple sentences about what happens first, next, then and last. Before lunch the children worked in their key groups to complete a maths activity about doubling, halving or sharing. At the end of the day the children talked about what they had been learning during their child-initiated activity time. During this week’s ICT the children played a caterpillar counting game on the ICT games website (www.ictgames.co.uk) where they had to order the numbered leaves and then click on the caterpillar when they had finished. If they were right the caterpillar turned into a butterfly.
On Friday the children talked about what plants need to grow. They set up a cress investigation by putting seeds in different conditions (in the dark no water/ in the dark with water/ in the light no water/ in the light with water) and the children made predictions about what they thought would happen to the seeds. During Friday’s adult-led activity the children made their own cress head and they are excited to see how much their cress will have grown during the weekend. I wonder who’s cress head will grow the tallest hair? The children were given the learning challenge of doubling ladybirds, where they had to count how many spots were on one side of the ladybird and then they had to add the same amount of spots to the other side of the ladybird, lastly the children were asked to write the addition number sentence to show their double. At the end of the day the children attended their first celebration assembly with the rest of the school.
In addition to this the children have been accessing a variety of activities in the different areas of learning. Some of these activities included: Frog thought bubble writing frames; pegs and peg boards to make patterns; hungry caterpillar number sequencing; hungry caterpillar cut and stick ordering 11-20; Making blossom on twigs using tissue paper or by finger printing on a tree outline; using magnifying glasses to look at spring flowers; and making folding butterflies using paint. It has been fantastic to see the children’s enthusiasm to complete the various learning challenges this week.

Foundation Stage Blog – 20 April 2018

The children have a made bright and sunny start to the Summer term. During the hot weather please ensure that you apply sun cream before your child comes to school. We also advise that your child brings in a named sun hat and water bottle.

This week the children started their new topic of life cycles and planting.

On Wednesday morning we talked about the Characteristics of Effective Learning (see further information about these below) and the importance of the children showing what they have learnt, explored or created during their independent learning times. This term the children are encouraged to take control of their learning, show increasing self-confidence and independence. Each day the children will be given a learning to challenge to complete to extend their learning opportunities.

This term’s PSHE topic is about relationships and this week the children created a recipe for friendship and thought about what they need to do to be a good friend. The children were asked to think about how they could be a better friend to their peers.

On Thursday the children were asked to share what they knew about butterflies and caterpillars, it was fantastic to hear the children sharing so much prior knowledge. Following this the children looked at the butterfly life cycle and watched a video to show the life cycle in action. During the afternoon the children received a parcel of caterpillars which they will observe over the coming weeks as they turn into butterflies. During our group time the children talked about their current interests, what they want to learn about and what they can’t do at the moment but they would like to be able to do. The children’s ideas will be used to inform future planning and support children with their learning throughout the term.

During this week’s handwriting the children practised the formation of the letters o, a, c, d and g using the RWI letter formation rhymes (these can be found on the back of the children’s flashcards). On Friday the children used The Hungry Caterpillar story to learn about the days of the week and sequencing familiar events. We have also used the story during our adult-led activities this week. For their Literacy activity some children wrote a simple sentence about what the Hungry Caterpillar ate on Monday and others read simple sentences about the Hungry Caterpillar and were challenged to complete the missing words. This week’s adult-led Maths activity focused on addition using dice. We will be continuing to learn about different life cycles next week.

What are the Characteristics of Effective Learning?

The Characteristics of Effective Learning describe learning as a process and not as an event.

The three characteristics of effective teaching and learning are:

  • Playing and exploring – children investigate and experience things, and have a go
  • Active learning – children concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties, and enjoy achievements; and
  • Creating and thinking critically – children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things.

Below is an example of what the Characteristics of Effective Learning look like in children’s terms:

Foundation Stage Blog – 22 March 2018

This week the children sprung into their new topic of Easter and Spring. They started with the question “What is Easter?” and then they watched a video of the Easter story. Following this the children talked about what happened in the story. On Tuesday the children followed on their discussion about Easter and were asked to think about why they celebrate Easter. The children watched short video clips about how children prepare for and celebrate Easter. This encouraged the children to share what they do to celebrate Easter and then this led onto a discussion about Easter symbols and signs of Spring. On Wednesday the children learnt about what happens in Spring and were encouraged to think about how the world around them changes during Spring (e.g. what happens to nature during Spring? How do the trees change in Spring?) On Thursday the children developed their fine motor skills and pencil control by doing an observation drawing of some Spring flowers. It was fantastic to see the children taking care with their drawing and colouring within the lines. Whilst they were doing their observation drawing the children talked about the parts of a plant, the colour of the petals and why the flowers are growing now. On Friday the children developed their self-confidence by talking about themselves and what they like to do in-front of the class. Then their peers were encouraged to ask the child how, what, where, why and when questions. During this week’s handwriting the children have been practising forming the letters r, h, m, n and p correctly using the Read Write Inc. rhymes they have previously been taught. You could practise forming these letters at home using the letter formation rhymes on the back of your child’s Read Write Inc. flashcards.

During PE this week the children participated in a class yoga session about Peter Cottontail the Easter bunny. The children joined Peter Cottontail on an Easter egg hunt and discovered that the Tickly Monkeys had taken all the eggs. The children learnt about Easter through vocabulary such as bunnies, daffodils, Spring sunshine, Easter eggs, etc. During this week’s PSHE discussion the children talked about the importance of sleep and their bedtime routines. It was lovely to hear that lots of children listen to their parents read them a story before they go to bed. The children were asked to talk about if they had something special to cuddle up to when they go to sleep and whether they had ever had a dream. The children were asked questions such as: what time do you go to bed? What do you do before you go sleep?

During this week’s Maths inputs the children have learnt about number bonds and money. They started the week learning about number bonds and the children were challenged to make up the eggs to make a given number (e.g. 2+3=5) and then they worked with a partner to use cubes to find different ways to make the same number. On Tuesday the children started by talking about money and whether they have used coins to pay for something in a shop. The children learnt about the coins 1p-£2 and began to talk about the value of each coin. They talked about being able to buy more with the silver coins that the copper coins because they are worth more. At the end of the input the children talked about which coin was worth the most and which coin was worth the least. You could help your child to develop their coin recognition and the understanding of the value of coins by playing with coins at home and allowing your child to pay for items when you go to a shop. On Wednesday the children developed their understanding of coin value by using 1p coin to make the amount of other coins (e.g. How many 1p coins are worth the same as a 2p coin?). Then the children were challenged to add different groups of coins (e.g. 2p, 2p, 1p). On Thursday the children continued to explore different ways to make amounts using coins. They were faced with the challenge that a rabbit costs 6p but there isn’t a 6p coin so how can they make 6p to pay for the rabbit. The children explored how many different ways they could make 6p using a combination of 1p, 2p and 5p coins. On Friday the children explored ways of sharing money fairly between different teddies (e.g. children were given 3x1p coins, 3x2p coins, 3x5p coins and then asked to share the money fairly so that they each had the same amount).

The children have been learning a song about a Spring chicken in preparation for the schools’ Easter church service next Monday (26th March). Alongside all of this learning the children have engaged in a variety of activities linked to the topic of Spring and Easter such as: designing an Easter egg; making Easter cards; painting letter shapes on the playground using large paintbrushes using water; playing shops using money and price tags; egg box adding; feeding the chicks pasta using tweezers; making Easter egg mosaics; making spring paper flowers; using their imagination in the garden centre shop; exploring Spring themed objects in an exploration tray; making Easter cakes and hot cross buns using playdough; Easter egg potato stamping; and painting Easter pictures.

This week’s home learning challenge is for the children to design their own Easter bonnet to wear on the last day of term (Thursday 29th March).

Foundation Stage Blog – 16 March 2018

The children arrived in Foundation Stage on Monday to find out that the aliens space craft had gone! This sparked many questions such as where have they gone? What planet have they gone to? Where is their home? What does their home look like? Did they go straight home or did they go on a new adventure? The aliens left a letter for the children thanking them for mending their spacecraft. On Tuesday the children worked as a class to describe an alien for their teacher to draw. To support the children’s ideas they were asked questions like: what did our aliens look like? How did the aliens move? Did the aliens make any noises? How many eyes/arms/ legs did they have? What did they feel like? What did they smell like? This week’s adult-led activity the children were supported to think of words to describe the aliens they had previously created. During a circle time this week the children worked together to build up their own space story and then they used this to learn about the three parts of a story. The children used a story mountain template to draw pictures of what would happen at each part of their story. During their handwriting and super sentence writing times The children have been practising the letters i, l, t and b. The children have been learning how to write simple sentences using finger spaces, full stops and capital letters.
During this week’s PSED the children were challenged to sort healthy and unhealthy foods into groups, following this they had a class discussion about what healthy foods do to their bodies, what would happen if they ate unhealthy food all the time, what they have to do to look after their bodies at home (e.g. what would happen if you didn’t have a bath? what would happen if you didn’t wash your hands after going to the toilet? What would happen if you didn’t brush your teeth?) and lastly the children talked about who they went to see to check that their teeth were healthy. The children followed on from their PSHE during a discussion about health & Self-Care, where they talked about keeping clean through exploring hygiene items (e.g. tooth brush, sponge, soap, nail brush, hair brush, etc) and then thinking about how they use them and why they are important.
During this week’s PE the children used different space themed movements to warm up their bodies and then they engaged in space themed physical challenges e.g. space obstacle course, throwing and catching moon rocks, throwing a flying saucer (beanbag) and jumping out of a space craft.
A highlight of the week was when the children visited the ICT suite for the first time! During their time in the ICT suite the children learnt how to control a mouse using 2Simple City software. We are very excited to have access to the ICT suite on a weekly basis from now on J
This week’s Maths has focused on positional language and counting / comparing numbers. On Monday the children explored where the larger and smaller numbers are on a number line. Some children worked on matching a given number card with a number on the number line and then clapping the corresponding amount, some children were looking at numbers that were more than 10 and less than 10 and some children began to explore the meaning of the 1 in 2-digit numbers from 11-19, beginning to explore tens and ones. On Tuesday the children were given a 1-30 picture card and then they were challenged to find their number around the classroom. The children showed great excitement and pride during the number hunt and then they made a class number line from 1-30. On Wednesday the children talked about positional language and started to learn about which is their left hand and which is their right. Following this the children pretended to be beebots and followed instructions using the positional terms forwards, backwards, left, right. On Thursday some children explored missing numbers, some children looked at the pattern between 1-9 and 11-19 and some children started to learn about doubling using ladybirds. On Friday the children continued to use their positional language, from Wednesday, to give their partner positional instructions using mathematical language linked to position (under, next to, behind, in front of, left, right).
Alongside all of this learning the children have engaged in a variety of activities linked to the topic of space and health & self-care such as: ordering rockets 1-20; playing the tummy ache game; playing on the beebot emulator on the interactive whiteboard; wooden blocks and space people; washing dolls in the water tray; washing clothes and hanging them up outside on a number line; and making a healthy plate of food using play dough.
Next week we will be starting our new topic of Spring and Easter.

Foundation Stage Blog – 9 March 2018

The children have enthusiastically immersed themselves in our space topic and it has been wonderful to hear them sharing the information they have learnt about the planets, the phases of the moon and what it is like in space. On Monday the children learnt about star constellations and how joining stars together can make pictures. The children discussed the differences between day and night and the different events that occur during different parts of the day.  On Wednesday the children learnt that the aliens had returned and started to build the spaceship. The aliens had left a letter for the children asking them to make designs for their new rocket. During their independent learning the children were challenged to design their own rockets and it was wonderful to see some children labelling parts of their rocket. The children are making good progress during their super sentence writing sessions, where they have been learning about using finger spaces, full stops and capital letters when writing sentences. They are developing their ability to segment sounds in words, using their ‘Fred fingers’ and then blend them together. This week’s handwriting has focused on correctly forming the letters c, a, d, g.

This week’s Maths has focused on 2D and 3D shapes as well as addition and subtraction. On Monday the children revisited the names of 2D and 3D shapes and during an adult led activity the children went on a shape hunt around the Foundation Stage area, looking for 2D and 3D shapes. On Tuesday the children learnt about the concept of addition using an alien adding machine. They read a number sentence (e.g. 5+3=), then they put the first amount in the first tube (e.g. 5) and the other amount in the other tube (e.g. 3). Then the children had to open the aliens mouth and see how many objects it had eaten, lastly they recorded the answer to the addition by counting how many altogether. The children have enjoyed making their alien addition machines in school and it would be fantastic to see observations of them using their alien adding machines at home. On Wednesday the children looked at pictures of everyday objects and were challenged to identify and name the shapes they could see. After that the children worked with a partner to find a given shape within the Foundation Stage environment. On Friday the children talked about their routines and demonstrated their ability to sequence events.

During this week’s PSHE discussion the children have been talking about how they exercise and what happens to their body when they exercise. Many children were able to talk about the importance of exercise and it was lovely to hear the children talking about the various physical activities they enjoy participating in. The children continued these discussions on Thursday when they talked about healthy eating and how to look after their bodies. During this week’s PE the children ended their music and movement space journey. They listened to space themed music  to move in ways which showed the aliens space craft malfunctioning and the aliens having to leave the space craft.  Another highlight this week was when the children opened the outdoor sand pit for the first time! It was fantastic to see the children working together to remove the sand pit cover. The children have thoroughly enjoyed making cakes and sandcastles. During the week the children have been busy making a surprise for their mummies, we hope you like it.

Foundation Stage Blog – 2 March 2018

The children’s journey into space continued this week amongst the snow and ice. They have been looking back at that the mind maps they made last week and learnt how information can be found in books and using technology.

The children used non-fiction books to find out facts about space and the planets and they also learnt how to search for information on the internet using a computer.

Following this the children recorded their own facts about space and the planets during an adult-led activity.

The children have enjoyed listening to the story Aliens Love Underpantsand have engaged in activities linked to the story during their child-initiated learning time. There were gasps of amazement as the children watched some of Tim Peaks space adventure to find out what life is like in space. During a class discussion the children learnt about the phases of the moon, they were asked “what happens to the sun at night?” and “what happens to the moon to make it change shape?”

The children actively explored the moons phases with one children standing in one place being the sun (holding a torch) while another child walks around the sun being the Earth. The Foundation Stage staff explained that sometimes the sun is shining on the moon, but sometimes the Earth is in the way and causes a shadow so we cannot see the whole moon. It would be wonderful if the children could look out for the different phases of the moon at home.

This week’s Maths has focused on weight and making comparisons between the weight of objects. First the children were given two different sized moon rocks and were encouraged to use mathematical vocabulary to compare them, using words such as lightest, heaviest. Following this the children put their moon rocks into some weighing scales and watched what happened, making comments such as “It’s gone down because it’s heavy.” Then the children used everyday objects to make weight comparisons e.g. a bag of sugar and a bag of cotton wool, a bag of potatoes. Lastly they have been learning how to use non-standard measures (e.g. cubes) to weigh objects by exploring and how many they need to make the scales balance with an object.

During this week’s PSHE the children have continued their discussions about healthy eating and being hygienic. They considered why they need to look after their bodies and how they can do this, as well as exploring why some foods are not good for us by sorting healthy and unhealthy food.

The children played ‘Guess my sport’ using clues and then discussed the sporting activities they participate in both inside and outside of school. The children were asked if they had ever won a trophy, certificate or a badge for a sporting activity, encouraging them to recognise their strengths and achievements. This led onto a discussion about why we need to exercise and what happens to our bodies when we exercise. The children continued their journey into space through music and movement during PE, where they imagined that they were astronauts floating in space  and exploring the inside of the space craft.  

The children have thoroughly enjoyed being outside in the snow this week and carried out their own ice investigation where they made ice gloves. The children were amazed when they came into school the following day and cut open their ice gloves to see the ice they had made.

Foundation Stage Blog – 23 February 2018

This week the children launched into a space adventure! When they arrived on Monday they found a space craft that had crash landed in the outdoor area. The children were encouraged to think about who could have been in the space rocket? Where had they gone? How did the space craft crash? Where did it come from? Following this the children worked in small groups to create mind maps of what they knew about space and what they wanted to learn about space. During the afternoon the children engaged in a class discussion about who was flying the space craft, whether it was an alien and what they knew about aliens. The children drew pictures of what they thought the aliens would look like. During their child-initiated learning in the outdoor area the children built their own spaceship. To end a busy day of exploration the children watched a short video clip about the moon and were asked questions such as is the moon made of cheese? How do we know what it is like on the moon?

On Tuesday the children listened to some of the story The way back home and paused to discuss how the boy got stuck on the moon and what he was going to do. The children were encouraged to think what they would do if they were stuck on the moon and during an adult-led activity the children recorded their ideas. In the afternoon the children were introduced to the concept of subtraction. They sang the song ‘5 little men in a flying saucer’ and explored how the numbers go down/ there is one less when they take one away. After each verse of the song the children were challenged to think of the corresponding subtraction and an adult modelled how this would be recorded. The children were shown an active subtraction activity using playdough called ‘subtraction smash’ where they would choose a subtraction (e.g. 5-3=) and then make the first amount of playdough balls (e.g. 5), then they smash however many they are taking away (e.g. 3) and then count how many playdough balls they have left (e.g. 2).  To end the day the children participated in a group discussion about the importance of healthy eating and being hygienic. They sorted foods such as chocolate and bananas into groups according to the criteria of ‘eat lots of times’ and ‘eat sometimes’. Following this the children talked about what they do at school which is healthy and what they need to do to be healthy and hygienic.

On Wednesday the children listened to the story Whatever Next! Then they looked for similarities and differences between today’s story and the story they had listened to the previous day. The children talked about how they would prepare for a journey into space and what they would take with them. An adult modelled how to write a list using the children’s suggestions and then the children wrote their own list during an adult-led activity. During PE the children made up their own space themed dance routine about preparing for a journey into space (elements included: approaching space ship and climbing in, putting on suit and helmet and getting into seat/preparing instrument panel). They listened to some space themed music and were challenged to make their movements match the music. Their journey into space will continue during next week’s PE.  In the afternoon the children learnt a counting back rhyme about 10 little spacemen. They recorded subtractions after each part of the rhyme and started to notice the pattern that there was 1 less each time.

On Thursday the children explored the concept of finding one less than a given number using a dice. First a child was chosen to roll a dice and then the children held up the corresponding amount of fingers. Following this the children were asked to show 1 less by folding down one finger. Lastly the children were shown how to record the number problem as a number sentence. During an adult-led activity the children explored the concept of subtraction with some children using numicon and numicon pegs and some children using 10 pebbles and a 10 counting frame. In the afternoon the children used their alien designs from Monday to think of questions they would ask an alien if they met them. The children worked with a partner to scribe their ideas onto a speech bubble.

On Friday the children used the planets in their Maths to make a numberline. A child was asked to find a number between 6 and 9 and then another child rolled the dice. The child on the numberline then jumped back that many spaces and the children were encouraged to record the subtractions on the interactive whiteboard. This was then consolidated during an adult-led activity. To end the week the children participated in a celebration assembly where their learning achievements for the week were shared.

In addition to all of this week’s activities the children were provided with many space themed learning opportunities such as: alien speech bubbles; shapes in space game on the computer; making aliens, robots and rockets using junk modelling resources; playing in the space station; exploring textures using silver beans; story props for Whatever Next!; objects to explore floating and sinking; paint blowing to make alien pictures; making aliens using playdough and a variety of tools and resources; playdough smash subtraction; and non-fiction and fiction space themed books.

It has been great to see the children’s enthusiasm and engagement in our Space topic this week and we are excited about continuing our journey in space next week.

Foundation Stage Blog – 9 February 2018

The Foundation Stage children have immersed themselves in the topic of Chinese New Year this week. On Monday morning the children learnt about how people celebrate Chinese New Year and looked at where China is located on a globe. During their adult-led activity the children made Chinese lanterns and Chinese dragons to decorate the Foundation Stage area. In a class discussion after lunch the children learnt about the Great wall of China, animals found in China, the types of food people eat in China and the music Chinese people like to listen to. The children ended the day by learning the Chinese New Year song ‘ Gung Hay Fat Choi.’

On Tuesday the children started their day by watching a Chinese dragon dance video and explored the differences between the Chinese New Year dragon and the dragon from the Room on the Broom story they had recently been learning about. Then the children listened to the Chinese New Year story about animals crossing the river. During their adult-led activity the children wrote a list of the animals in the Chinese New Year story. The children participated in dragon addition during their Maths input, exploring the different ways to make 10 using Chinese dragons. It was wonderful to see the children attempting to record additions on a whiteboard.

On Wednesday they learnt about children receiving red envelopes with money in as part of their Chinese New Year traditions. Then the children used 10 gold coins and 2 Money pouches to explore different ways to share the coins and then they were challenged to find the corresponding addition card. During their adult-led activity the children continued to develop their understanding of pairs to make 10 using gold coins and money pouches. In the afternoon the children role-played the Chinese New Year story.

On Thursday the children explored how many Chinese dragons were hidden in the river (under a blue cloth). The children counted how many dragons they could see and then showed this on their fingers. After this the children were challenged to find out how many dragons were in the river by looking at how many fingers they still had folded down. The children were introduced to completing missing number additions e.g. 4 + _ = 10. During their adult-led activity the children explored different ways to make 10 using Numicon. After lunch the children tasted a selection of Chinese food (noodles, rice, prawn crackers).

To end the week the children explored the concept of subtraction using animals from the Chinese New Year story. The children counted how many animals were waiting to cross the river (blue cloth), some animals were moved into the river because they were trying to get to the other side. Then the children had to check how many were still on the land and an adult modelled how this would be recorded as a subtraction. As a class the children read the subtractions and then the adult emphasised what had happened (e.g. There were 10 animals waiting to cross the river, 2 jumped in, which leaves 8 animals still waiting to cross the river.) It was lovely to hear about what the children had achieved during this week’s celebration assembly.

During this week’s PE the children carried out their own dragon dance and then engaged in a dragon themed Yoga session. In PSHE this week the children talked about how to be a good friend. Additional Chinese New Year activities the children have engaged in this week include: Chinese dragon ordering game https://www.topmarks.co.uk/ordering-and-sequencing/chinese-dragon-ordering ; exploring noodles with chopsticks and tweezers; making animals masks to act out the story; making egg box dragons; constructing the great wall of china using different construction materials; exploring the Chinese café; acting out the animal race; and looking at non-fiction books about China and Chinese New Year.

After half term the children will be learning all about Space.

Below are some ideas for home learning during half term: (It would be lovely to see pictures of what the children have been doing in Half Term on Tapestry)

  • Make words using Read Write Inc. flashcards.
  • Read and write simple words and sentences.
  • Go outside/ look out the window when it is dark and talk about what you can see. Can you count the stars? Can you find the moon? Does the sky change from one night to the next?
  • Make some pancakes following a recipe. Add chocolate chips or blueberries into the mix. Which is your favourite?
  • Hunt for shapes and numbers in the environment when you are out (e.g. road signs).
  • Go to the park to develop your physical skills.
  • Take photos using an electrical device e.g. Camera, Phone, Ipad.

Foundation Stage Blog – 2 February 2018

The theme of Room on the Broom continued this week and the children started by learning how to make a story map, retelling the story using pictures and key words. During this week’s English adult-led task the children were challenged to independently  draw pictures and write simple words and sentences about the Room on the Broom story.

During Monday’s Maths input the children made a potion where they had to add together how many objects had been put in the cauldron. The children learnt how to record an addition number sentence and how to use a numberline to count on to find the answer to an addition.

On Tuesday the children made their own potion and were amazed to see the potion fizz up when they added baking soda. The children were supported to write a list of ingredients they had used to make their potion, the children learnt that each object needs to start on a new line when they are writing a list and they continued to develop their blending and segmenting skills. During their Maths input the children re-visited the concept of addition and recapped how to record an addition number sentence. The children learnt that they had to count how many altogether to find the total of two groups and developed their 1:1 counting correspondence.

On Wednesday the children retold the story Room on the Broom using Pie Corbett’s ‘Talk for writing’ approach where the children put actions to the story which helped them to become more familiar with the storyline. During their Maths input the children used the characters from Room on the Broom to complete additions, they counted how many animals were on the broomstick to start with, then they added some more characters and counted how many characters were on the broomstick altogether. During this week’s adult-led Maths activity the children have demonstrated their mathematical skills through a range of activities such as recognising numbers, ordering numbers, matching numerals to a quantity, naming 2D shapes and describing their properties, sequencing events and identifying one more or one less than a given number.

On Thursday the children thought of a spell they would make or what magic they would do if they were a witch. While passing a witches hat around the circle the children recited the rhyme “If you were a witch and you were going to make a spell, what would it be? Put on the hat and tell.” Whoever the hat stopped at shared their ideas. During their Maths input the children role-played going on a bus, a number of children started on the bus and then the bus stopped and some more children got on. The children were then asked a problem-solving question (e.g. There were 4 on the bus and then 3 more got on. How many children are on the bus now?)

On Friday the children consolidated this week’s Maths learning by developing their use of mathematical vocabulary linked to addition and then recording additions using marks they could interpret and explain. The children laid out a 1-20 numberline on the carpet and a child rolled a dice. The child stood on the corresponding number on the number line and then another child rolled the dice. The child on the numberline then jumped that amount along the number line. Another child was asked to record an addition number sentence to correspond with what the child on the numberline had done e.g. 5+4=10.

Throughout the week the children have engaged in a variety of activities linked to the Room on the Broom theme, such as making potions, making witches hat biscuits, writing lists of ingredients to go in a potion, using bugs and cauldrons to make additions, role-playing in the witches cave and using different sized bowl and spoons in the sand to make potions. During PE this week the children played a variety of parachute games. This week’s PSHE focused on the children thinking about how it feels when people are unkind to them and if it is ok to be unkind with their words and actions. The children thought about how their unkind words and actions affect others and discussed what they could do to resolve conflicts with their friends, whilst emphasizing what a good friend is.

To end the week the children participated in an assembly where their achievements for the week were celebrated and proud clouds were shared.

It has been wonderful to see so many parents uploading observations to show what their child has been doing at home, this helps the Foundation Stage staff to gain an insight into children’s interests which we then include in our future planning. It would be great to see if the children’s interests in witches, making potions and the Room on the Broom story have continued at home.