A place for everyone. Together, we are inspired to grow, learn and achieve.
Welcome to Owls Class
We are looking forward to a fantastic year together!
Welcome to Owls Class and, for those of you who are new to the school, to Woodlands Park! We hope that you are as excited as we are to begin our year together. Ms Shepheard is your Class Teacher and Miss Cunningham is your teaching assistant. This is your class page and we hope to use it to share and celebrate all the wonderful things we will be doing over the coming year with your families.
Feel free to come and speak to one of the class team if you have any questions or concerns. Our door is always ‘open’! Alternatively, you can put a quick note in your child’s communication diary for us to read and we will respond to it as soon as possible.
---------WATCH THIS SPACE!---------
Summer Term 6
Welcome back to this, the final term of the academic year and our final term together!
This is the term when all your hard work comes together and we see you all blossom further before our eyes! It is when you all refine your existing skills, enhancing them even further. It is also sadly the term that we bid you farewell as you move from being Owls to becoming Squirrels.
Before we talk about this term though we must just take a moment to think back over our last term and what a busy one it was! On your arrival back after Easter you discovered an incubator complete with eggs. Together we watched and waited and low and behold out of each egg hatched a chick. What a magical moment! You are now experts in the lifecycle of a chicken. In the woods you worked together to create a 'fox trap' to "freeze the fox" so he could not get to our chickens. You out did yourselves in our Class Assembly performing with confidence and aplomb and worked to help others by helping us to plan a very successful fundraising event, raising money to help others. Together we have begun to create our very own 'stinky garden' (herb garden) and have become very adept at watering the plants. Our term ended with our fantastic trip to Braywick where fun was had by all!
This term we hope to release our chicks into their new outside home, our classroom is going to be a lot quieter and lot less messy! Owing to our busy term last term we will visit planting this term with it forming part of our explorations with us applying our knowledge of life cycles to plants. We hope to observe the lifecycle of a butterfly too and are looking forward to seeing your Minibeast Brain Builders.
As ever our learning can take us in all sorts of directions, ones that are not always easy to predict but nonetheless are so important. Where will we go this term do you think?
Come on Owls ... let's make this term the best one yet!
P.S. I almost forgot we will also be off to the swimming pool ... make sure you have your swimming kit in school!
We are enjoying our 'random acts of wildness' ... we have been on a moss and lichen hunt with the children taking photos of what they discovered ... shared and displayed our natural treasures ... 'felt the wild between our toes' ... looked for shapes in the clouds ... 'raced for a rainbow' ... received a letter from a magpie asking us to address the issue of litter in our woods, sorting and organising the recyclable material we discovered ... made 'wild' caterpillars (we hope they are going to grow some groovy hair) ... created some seed bombs ... and lots more besides! Edit: We used our natural treasures and things we found in the woods to create natural mobiles (not 'the talking into kind'!) ... had our snack 'al-fresco' with Mrs Scarvaci and tried a spot of 'outdoor meditation' too.
Consequently Ms Shepheard's desk has been covered in moss and she is regularly showered with natural treasures that we find when out and about. We could not believe that Ms Shepheard and Miss Cunningham joined us 'feeling the wild between our toes'! We have giggled and laughed out loud and had so much fun and it is not over yet!!
Summer Term 5
Welcome back after the Easter Break. We hope you are fully rested and ready for another term of fun filled learning.
Term 4 was a busy term, not unlike those before it. The children have forged ahead in their learning, impressing us with their ability to recall information, share their growing knowledge and skills confidently whilst tackling challenges that they encounter. I am particularly impressed with how so many of our little Owls have adopted the mantra of "we can do it!". I am told/asked on a regular basis that "we just need to have a go and try our best don't we Ms Shepheard?!" This makes my heart sing. The children completed an astounding array of Dinosaur Brain Builder Tasks earlier in the term with those adults invited to view our 'exhibition' being suitably impressed.
The summer season brings a wealth of learning opportunities and we anticipate a change in the weather and therefore hope to take full advantage of this, spending as much time outside as we can. We have already noticed the changes the seasons have on our natural environment and look forward to seeing this change further over the coming months. The theme of 'growth' will inform much of our learning this term and we hope to put our 'green fingers' to the test by planting and observing what happens as our seedlings grow. As the weather improves we hope to see greater evidence of bugs and creatures in our environment and will take the opportunity to investigate the lifecycles of some of them. We may even be lucky to see this in action with a creature of the cute and fluffy persuasion too!! This will be fully supported by our planned trip to Braywick Nature Reserve at the end of term.
As ever we are never too sure what learning journeys will naturally occur from the children's interests and will continue to embrace these as they arise. A day in the life of Owls Class can be a truly interesting one!
Here's to an exciting Term 5. Are you ready Owls?!
Spring Term 4
Welcome back to Term 4. We hope that you had a restful half term break and are ready for what this term has in store for us.
Last term was yet another busy term in Owls Class. We made New Year Resolutions, helped a 'mixed up' monster, celebrated Chinese New Year, had our very own circus and hatched dinosaur 'eggs' of all things! That is just the tip of the iceberg and everyday in Owls Class can be a surprising one. We are half way through the year already and hurtling towards the end at break neck speed, there is no time to put on the brakes! I suspect that books will still focus heavily in our explorations this term and this will coincide with World Book Day on Thursday 7th March 2019, what character will you be? We will be looking for signs of Spring in our environment and begin to thing about growth, planting seeds and considering life cycles. Above all we will undoubtedly be having fun with our learning!
A word of caution: As ever we can plan interesting and exciting learning opportunities for the children but it is not unheard of that the children themselves will come up with a far more interesting train of thought. It is only right therefore that we jump aboard this train ready for an adventure wherever it may take us!
Calling all Owls are you ready for this term's adventures?!
The children of Owls Class worked hard to develop their performance of our Spring song for the Easter Assembly, creating the props they would use with the able assistance of Miss Cunningham. Those of you who were lucky enough to see it I am sure will agree they all did so well. Standing up in front of a room full of people can be a daunting prospect!
Elsewhere we had fun in the learning environment with Easter themed learning opportunities, none more popular than an 'egg hunt' in the woods. Sadly this was not of the chocolate persuasion but instead each egg contained a ''challenge'. It could be a green or red word to read or a maths problem to answer. The children worked independently or as a team, searching high and low for the eggs, the Easter Bunny had hid them in some tricky places. It was delightful to see everyone persevering and accepting the challenges, seeking out help should they need it and using the language of learning, talking about 'having a go', 'keeping on trying' and using the magic word that is 'yet'!
We even had an impromptu Easter Egg competition in class, judged by Mrs Penny. Congratulations to our winner, Brody, and our runner up, Shyla! Well done!
Spring Term 3
Welcome back after our Christmas break.
We hope that yours has been a restful one and we would like to take this opportunity to wish you a very Happy New Year!
Last term was a busy one with a class assembly, a Nativity, a visit from a dragon (Zog) and reindeer too! We are not sure how we are going to top it but we will give a good try!
So many of the children have shown a keen interest in sharing books and stories in our Book Corner prior to Christmas. It is a lovely sight to behold watching them sharing this cosy space together and how they have taken ownership of this area to make it theirs. We will capitalise on this interest and will be using some of our favourite stories alongside unusual objects to inspire our own story telling and writing too. We may even act out some of our stories!
Over last term our independence has grown and we will be putting this to the test this term, coming into class on our own and even collecting our own school dinner too at lunchtime! In support of this we will be exploring the concept of a 'growth mind set', the concept of what 'we can do' and what 'we can't do yet'. Emphasis will be placed on language for learning which the children are used to the adults using already, linking very nicely into our Characteristics of Effective Learning which centre around each child developing the skills to learn effectively, through self-belief, perseverance, a willingness to 'have a go' and attempt to problem solve. To compliment this we will talking about feelings, which can be both supporter of and barrier to our own mind sets, This term we will be helping a monster who is a little confused to sort out his feelings. In doing so we will explore how we feel at different times, what this looks like and what it means to us.
Look at our fantastic writing!!
On our return after our Christmas break we talked about making New Year's Resolutions. Together we talked about all the things that we wanted to get better at during the year. We made a word bank and Ms Shepheard helped us build sentences and then scribed them on the board for us. Then it was our turn, some of us magpied the sentences from the board whilst others of us had a go at writing our own using our phonetical knowledge. This does mean that our writing may not always look accurate at first glance. In Owls Class we celebrate everyone 'having a go'.
Some of us wanted to get better at doing cartwheels, riding a bike and even eating broccoli and carrots!!
Autumn Term 2
Welcome back to this our second term of the year. It is clear that you have all settled into Owls Class well and are keen to learn and develop. It is delightful to see how proud you are of the work you are producing, be it a drawing, a junk model or an amazing structure. I am looking forward to seeing what this term has in store for you all.
Looking forward we have a busy term ahead of us with plenty of opportunities to 'celebrate' together. Halloween is perhaps the first thing some of us will celebrate and we will be having some of our own spooky fun in the classroom. Not long after will be Bonfire Night and Diwali where we can explore light, dark and colour too. We must not forget Armistice Day and the act of remembrance and have already begun to make our poppies. Later still will see our Christmas performance of our Nativity but perhaps more exciting is our very first class assembly towards the end of November!
We hope to share photographs and examples of our work here on this page as the term progresses.
Picture the scene ... excitedly we have written our letters to Santa and shared our wishes with our friends ... but wait ... how do we get the letters to him. This was the cue for the children to pool their knowledge and ideas of what we should do (with a little help from the adults).
"Write his name on a thingy!" [I think you mean an envelope] "We need to write his number on it!" [That would be his address] "We need put a stamp on the envelope Ms Shepheard!" [That's right because we have to pay for the postage].
With much excitement we put on our hi-vis vests (to keep us safe of course) and made our way to the local post box. We found out that the postman or postwoman would collect our letters from the post box early the next day before we arrived at school (the sign on the post box said so!) We are keeping our fingers crossed!
Autumn Term 1
We are going to start the year with the theme
Bring your ‘Marvellous Me’ bag into school having chosen 1 or 2 objects and/or photographs that are special to you to share with us all. You can even decorate your bag!
Ms Shepheard, Miss Cunningham and Mrs Brierley are looking forward to getting to know you all. We hope to share with you what you like (and don’t like), what you are good at and what you might like help with, all the things that make you special! Perhaps you might like to share how you celebrate special occasions with your family, how many brothers and sisters you have, how many pets you have or what you do when you are not at school?! We can't wait!
Daily phonics sessions began prior to Christmas with our Read Write Inc Set 1 Speed Sounds and continue apace. Alongside this, we will work to develop our communication and language skills to support us during these sessions. This will include our ability to identify sounds that we hear in our environment, the sounds we can hear in words as well as rhyming words in stories and lots more.
To develop phonics skills effectively children benefit from learning the sounds in a methodical way through focussed sessions in school and by being reinforced at home. We would welcome your support. It is expected that you practise at home for 5 minutes each day. Please refer to your child’s communication diary for the sounds of the week as appropriate.
To support your child at home you may find Ruth Miskin’s website useful where you will find helpful resources including short video clips to support you (see link below).
This is the order we learn our sounds in ~
Read Write Inc Speed Sounds Set 1:
1.1 m a s d t
1.2 i n p g o
1.3 c k u b
1.4 f e l h sh
1.5 r j v y w
1.6 th z ch q x ng nk
Read Write Inc Speed Sounds Set 2:
ay - May I play?
ee - What can you see?
igh - Fly high
ow - Blow the snow
oo - Poo at the zoo
oo - Look at a book
ar - Start the car
or - Shut the door
air - That's not fair
ir - Whirl and twirl
ou - Shout it out
oy - Toy for a boy
If you have a question or concern, please do not hesitate to speak with Ms Shepheard, Miss Cunningham and/or Mrs Brierley.
Please take a look at the Parents' Phonics Information PowerPoint below for more information.
A little reminder for the grown-ups!
Punctuality - Please remember that children are expected arrive at school promptly. The classroom door will open at 8.40am. Arriving to class on time supports your child to settle ready for the school day. Please may we remind you that should your child not be in school before 8.50am they will be registered with a late mark.
Water Bottles - Learning is thirsty work! To make sure all children are kept hydrated and ready to learn, your child must have a named water bottle to bring into class. Facilities are available to refill bottles in the classroom during the day. Children are also entitled to a drink of milk up to and including their 5th birthday.
Afternoon Snack - Learning is hungry work too! Please provide a healthy snack (fruit or raw vegetables, please no nuts or nut products and no sweets) for your child in a clearly named box or bag. Your child will be provided with a snack during the morning.
Welly Wednesday - Your child has free access throughout the week to the outdoor learning environment during the school day. On Wednesdays we will be taking this further still, taking our learning completely outside whatever the weather. With this in mind we recommend that your child has a pair of welly boots in school or an alternative pair of shoes. Things can get messy!!
PE Kits - Please ensure that your child has their fully named kit in school ready for our session. We will keep kits in school for the duration of the whole term sending them home for washing during the breaks. Our PE slot is Thursday afternoon.
Swimming Kits - Please ensure that your child has their fully named kit in school ready for our sessions. Our pool sessions are Wednesday morning and Friday afternoon (they are subject to change). Your child will need : swimming hat, full costume or trunks, flip flops, towel (all in a separate bag to PE kits).
Class Fund - Each term we ask for a small voluntary contribution of £2. This goes towards additional resources to support your child’s learning, such as ingredients for cooking and arts and crafts materials. Thank you in advance for your support. Please make payment via your online sQuid account under 'school fund donations' or place the cash in a named envelope and pass to a member of the class team. Thank you.
A useful document for all adults supporting children in their learning. It details typical development of children and includes suggestions of how children can be supported in their learning in everyday situations.
‘50 things to do before you are 11 ¾’ Lots of fun suggestions to do outside and make memories with, many of which do not cost a penny … make a daisy chain … go on a bug hunt … roll down a hill.
Communication and Language and Literacy
http://www.ictgames.com/phonemePopLS_v2.html Pop a sound!
http://ictgames.com/cvcPop.html Pop a word!
http://ictgames.com/sky_writing.html Have fun forming letters!
https://www.topmarks.co.uk/learning-to-count/ladybird-spots Practice number and counting skills
http://www.literactive.com/Download/live.asp?swf=story_files/sequence_game_US.swf Have fun repeating patterns!