A place for everyone. Together, we are inspired to grow, learn and achieve.
A story to begin our year together in Owls Class. Just like you Hugless Douglas starts a new school/class Password Reception2020
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 Woody P! We hope that you are as excited as we are to begin our year together. I am Ms Hayward your Class Teacher supported by our fantastic Teaching and Learning Assistants, Ms Carmody and Miss Bedlington. This is your class page and is one place where we celebrate all the wonderful things that we have been experiencing, exploring and achieving together with your family and friends. We hope that they will check in once in a while here and that you will be able to share with them some of the 'magic' that happens in Owls Class Your families will also find links to some useful websites and documents that they may wish to use to support you at home now and later in our year together. There is also a small story section where I have added some story videos for your use if you wish. They definitely do not replace sharing a 'real' book on the sofa but I hope that you enjoy them if you do choose to make use of them.
September 2020: Families: Feel free to 'speak' with one of the class team if you have any questions or concerns. Our door is always ‘open’! This still remains the case even with the current restrictions we are all 'working with' we may just have to be a bit more creative in how this is achieved! Alternatively, you can put a short note in your child’s communication diary or drop us a line via our class email email@example.com. We always aim to respond promptly but we are sure you understand that our classroom is a busy place to be on some days ... in fact most days ... and therefore our concepts of 'prompt' may differ As a team we are mindful that the last few months have been 'different' to say the least for us all and as a result your child has likely been unable to attend their previous settings for a considerable period, if at all, since late March. Please do not be concerned that they may have 'missed out' or 'be behind' or any of the other things that this train of thought conjures up. As always we will begin at the beginning ... moving forward together ... rest assured your child will be provided with the relevant level of support that they need at any given time. Along the way 'magic' will happen We are all in this together ... we've got this!
---------WATCH THIS SPACE!---------
Spring Term 4
‘Can you do it? Yes, I can!’(Part Two)
Well, we start this second part of the Spring Term in the same way as we ended the first part ... physically apart as a class but together in spirit! We have admired how all of you have accepted the challenge of being apart from each other ... those of you in school have adjusted to being part of a smaller group and having 'more of the spotlight' on you which has not always been easy whilst those of you who have been at home have wowed us with your creative ways of undertaking the suggested home learning. Regardless of where you have been we are incredibly proud of each and everyone of you!! You have each showed us your version of a 'can do attitude' and we will continue with our 'can do/have a go' spirit this term ... after all it is mandatory in Owls Class!
Last term we helped the 'mixed up' monster that came calling with his feelings and tackled the 'Evil Pea' as mischief reigned throughout our learning. We became 'polar explorers' and discovered some interesting facts about the animals that live in the 'lands of ice and snow'. Along the way there were weather reports, shape hunts and even a spot of Chinese Lion dancing. So many magical moments and achievements too!
This term we hope that any 'weather reports' we might make will report warmer temperatures and sunnier skies too. We have already spotted signs of the changes that are happening in nature in the Woody P woods as bulbs are beginning to emerge from the ground and buds are appearing on the bushes and trees. We will explore what happens as we enter the next season ... the season of SPRING ... exploring growth and lifecycles of animals and insects. We start our term with a spot of 'Monster Mayhem' which is perfect for exploring our creativity skills. What will your monster look like?
As ever be warned .... in Owls Class the plan can fly out the window at the drop of a hat in favour of something interesting that a child or group of children has discovered or shown an interest in. This is a powerful means through which to learn and we make no apology for it!
Remember Owls ... whilst we are not all together right now (it will not last forever) we are still a team. Here's to another fantastic term of development and learning in Owls Class.
Spring Term 3
Happy New Year to you and your families my young Owls! Let's us hope that 2021 sees us all safe and well and returning to a sense of normality soon
‘Can you do it? Yes, I can!’
Welcome back to you all to this, our third term together. We have blinked and we are now a third of the way through our year together. The first third has been full of magical moments and exciting developments and it is likely that the remaining two thirds will be the same. The children have risen to the challenge of being a member of Owl Class and are developing their 'have a go' skills and by now have realised that we expect them to 'keep on trying' and to 'never give up'. This is a thread that will continue to be interwoven in everything that we do this term and beyond. It is so important that we all develop a positive attitude towards everything we do. Before our eyes we are surrounded by emerging artists and performers, readers and writers, mathematicians and scientists. There is never a dull moment in Owls Class and our recent journey into the 'world of dinosaurs' is testament to this. This foray was in no way a 'planned adult moment' but instead an idea that was sparked by a small group of children, built upon by adults and taken on board by the whole class at one point or another. This is the magic of our classroom that allows something to explode in this way. I wonder, will something like this happen this term?! It is fabulous if it does but equally it is ok if it does not. I am confident however that we will be able to draw upon our learning from this and make connections with future learning.
Our term will begin with our helping of a 'mixed up monster' (The Colour Monster by Anna Llenas) which will enable us to continue to build upon our work around feelings and actions towards others. With the recent changes in the weather we will continue to explore the seasons, building on our work last term and our consideration of autumn and the beginning of winter. It may not snow in Maidenhead but we will take a look at the colder parts of our world and what animals do there to overcome the challenges of their environment. Our work developing our phonics skills will continue apace and we will continue to develop and extend our vocabulary with the help of Wendel our Word Collecting Monster with the plan being for us to take all of this into our independent reading and writing as we progress. Our work in maths will see us continue to develop our 'number sense' working with each number in depth in order for us to develop a deeper understanding ... there is so much more to maths than saying number names in order and recognising numerals! Most importantly we will be following the lead of the children and using their interests to extend potential learning inside and outside the classroom too!
Come on Owls ... are you ready? ... what exciting adventures are we going to go on this term?
Note: Our PE Day has changed to a FRIDAY from January onwards.
Autumn Term 2
We blinked and our first term together came to an end and what a great first term it was. It was full of magical moments and exciting discoveries. We very much hope that the coming term will follow the same pattern.
There is always much to celebrate throughout the year in Owls Class but this term offers opportunities to consider a number of things that many of us 'celebrate' or 'mark' as a moment of significance. Halloween has passed and so we enter into November and further into the season of autumn. We will explore the significance of Firework Night (5th November), the Hindu and Sikh festival of Diwali (The Festival of Lights), Remembrance Day (11th November) and later the story of Christmas and its traditions. There will be opportunities to make links between different cultures and their approaches to the things they celebrate. Alongside this we will take full advantage of the changes that are occurring in nature around us and talk about what happens at this time of year in the animal kingdom. We will also continue to explore the concept of feelings and may well meet a 'mixed up' monster that requires our help
The mantra of our class will continue to be 'have a go' and 'keep on trying' and this will no doubt be seen inside and out and across all areas of learning. Reading all the above I am not sure if we are even going to have time to breathe!!
However, the most important thing that we have failed to mention so far is that we will be following the lead of the children too .... the plan can be ditched at any time in favour of an exciting thread of thought presented by a child or group of children. This is the magic of Owls Class and we make no apology for it
So Owls, let's bring on the sparkle and glitz of Owls Class in Term 2 and look forward to an adventure or two ... or maybe even three?!!
Who would of guessed that an indent in the wood floor would take us on an exciting journey of discovery in Owls Class. The children discovered a 'footprint' in the woods and convinced that it was a 'dinosaur footprint' went on a hunt for 'dinosaur evidence'. Some children were convinced they had heard the sound of dinosaurs, others felt they had felt the vibration of their movements, whilst others still felt that the compressed wire fence was an indication that dinosaurs had been in our woods.
Next morning the children arrived to find a 'nest of eggs' in the classroom. So many questions ... how did they get there? ... what type of dinosaur could have laid these eggs? ... when would they hatch? ... what would we need to do to encourage them to hatch? We settled on "wrapping them up ... to keep them warm" and went off in search of leaves because we had already discovered that some animals make a nest of leaves to hibernate in during the winter to keep warm. We were going to attempt to 'incubate' our eggs!
Additionally we learned that a specialist in dinosaurs is called a paleontologist and we challenged Ms Hayward to email one on our behalf for her homework. She did this and you never guess ... we received a video reply from a paleontologist called Euphemia Jones. She told us we had to be patient and wait for at least two weeks before the eggs might hatch. She warned us that hatching dinosaurs may make lots of mess!
Meanwhile we learned about animals that are carnivores, herbivores or omnivores and Ms Hayward even discovered a new word too ... piscivore! Do you know your 'vores'? Mrs B treated us to a 'lesson in how to draw a dinosaur' and we adorned the classroom wall with our 'works of art'! Amazing! We checked daily for 'dinosaur evidence' and could not contain our excitement as we drew closer to 'hatching day'!
The day arrived and goodness me did they make a mess! We could not believe our eyes. They also left a 'smelly deposit' on our classroom floor. Ms Hayward bravely dissected this for us (wearing gloves of course!) in order for us to attempt to identify the type of dinosaur that may of hatched. We concluded that the presence of bones and vegetation within the poo meant that the dinosaur could very well be an omnivore. The children felt that we should ask Euphemia Jones for advice This we did by writing letters. She even sent us another video reply suggesting that the dinosaur could be a Deinocheirus.
This has been a true example of the 'magic' that happens in our classroom
In Owls Class the children are encouraged to work at their pace and adapt their ideas and the process they use. It is not about the end of the result but the fact that they have 'had a go' and 'kept on trying'. We make no apology for the children not creating identical copies of a set piece of work to bring home to you and/or put in their learning journeys. They are all unique and therefore so should their work be.
The children were presented with trees and provided with decorations and from there off they went on their 'decorating journey'. It was lovely to see the collaboration and enjoyment in working together to create our class tree. They were given full rein to decorate and to continue to decorate as they saw fit without fear of an adult rearranging their work. The only request was maybe not Pritt Stick things to the branches
When it came to creating their gifts for their families the children were presented with an idea for their Christmas Card, Robin and Tree. They were given the tools and materials to do this and support if they required it. It was just lovely to witness their ideas and techniques and the discussion about who they were creating if for. The result was, in each case, 26 very different cards, robins and trees. Just as it should be!!
We started our week of Remembrance by considering photographs connected to Remembrance Day and the reasons why we remember and who we remember ... the poppy in single, cross and wreath form, the Cenotaph in London, other military memorials, old photographs and modern photographs. We discovered it is not just soldiers but naval and air force personnel that we remember as well as everyone else who lost their lives in World War I and all conflicts since. By looking at photographs we came to realise that it was and is not just men who are involved. Likewise we talked about the purple poppy and how this recognises the animals who 'served' during the war, carrying personnel and equipment and pulling guns or carrying messages between areas. Together we visited the school Remembrance Garden in advance of the 11th November and used our noticing skills to identify the symbols that we had already talked about recognised how we could show our respect in this special place. We worked together to create poppy wreaths and individual poppies for our classroom 'poppy meadow' as well as used loose part resources to create our representations of poppies too. As a class we laid our wreaths in the garden alongside those of the other classes and observed the silence at 11.00am. We behaved impeccably and demonstrated our respect beautifully making our teachers very proud! We completed our week with a walk to the community centre to view the memorial there, inspired by Lily and her walk at the weekend. Across the week we viewed segments of the CBeebies Poppies animation and worked together to 'collect' words to describe key moments (with the help of Wendel the Word Monster) and to create sentences to retell the story. They are proudly displayed upon our windows amongst our 'poppy meadow'. It is a beautiful animation that you may wish to share at home as a family.
In Owls Class we love words! Young children need to be exposed to a rich and varied vocabulary in order to develop their reading and writing skills. We have recently begun to use THE NINE FANTASTICs to support us in our reading and writing. Each of the nine have a picture symbol that focusses our minds on the type of words that we choose to describe a character, an action, a feeling, how something feels, looks, sounds or tastes and so on. It is also about choosing words to describe something from a positive or negative standpoint. It is about being as specific as we can be. Our word monster Wendel helps us to do this. He collects words in his sock and is happy to share them with us. The children share their ideas and then Wendel offers some of his own too We discuss the words that Wendel offers us and then compare them to ours, writing a sentence or two using the word together. The children are encouraged to 'have a go' at writing something and in time as their skills develop will be able to write their own sentences inspired by our work as a team. Word collecting is a key element of The Write Stuff approach which is used throughout the school to support the development of our young people's writing. You may wish to take a look at the document and image below which provides a little more information of what it looks like in Owls Class.
Autumn Term 1
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! We will then 'hang' them on our 'Tree of Marvellous Me' for everyone to see Don't forget to share with us your 'Only One You' stone, your Worry Doll and/or your pictures, photos or videos connected to what you might like to be when you grow up too.
Ms Hayward, Miss Bright, Ms Carmody and Miss Bedlington 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, if you have brothers and sisters and how many pets you have or what you do when you are not at school?! We can't wait!
This year will be full of challenges for you to master, some as an individual, others as a team. Right from the beginning you will be expected to attempt to do things for yourself, growing in independence as the year progresses. We are looking forward to watching how you master new skills and enhance existing ones. There is nothing that you cannot do ... you simply cannot do it 'yet'! We will be on hand to support and encourage you to 'do your best' and 'keep on trying'.
Together this term we will explore what our school rules Be Ready, Be Respectful and Be Safe look and feel like and how this translates into life in our classroom. What does being a fantastic Owl look like? How should we be with the people around us? How should we use the resources on offer in our learning environment and how can we look after them and keep our learning spaces clean, tidy and safe for ourselves and others?
Sharing stories and singing songs together will play an important part in your learning and in this term especially so ... let us know your favourites and we can share them together! There will be plenty of opportunities for you to make and build things, draw and paint pictures, perform shows, run, climb and balance, share a good book, 'get messy' ... and just be you!
Are you ready Owls? Let's go and see where the journey takes us!
A little reminder for the grown-ups!
Punctuality & Arrival & Departure - Please remember that children are expected to arrive at school promptly, during this current period this is even more important to keep us all safe and sound. Children will be expected to arrive for the start of our day at 8.30am. Please stick to the one way system as detailed in the letters sent to you and keep the flow of traffic moving as much as possible. We will greet you outside of the classroom and will be on hand to support your child to enter the classroom without you. Please support your child through this point in their day as smoothly as possible (we know that this may well be tricky for some of us ... adults and children alike!) Likewise please ensure that you arrive promptly to collect your child at the end of the day at 3.05pm.
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. Please only fill your child's bottle with water. Thank you. Children are also entitled to a drink of milk up to and including their 5th birthday. There is the option to purchase milk after your child turns 5 should you wish to (See Autumn Newsletter for further information).
Afternoon Snack - Learning can be hungry work too! Please provide a healthy snack of fruit or raw vegetables 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 take this further still, taking our learning completely outside whatever the weather. With this in mind we ask that your child has a pair of named welly boots in school or an alternative pair of shoes. Things can and do get messy!!
PE Kits - For the forseeable future children will be expected to attend school in their PE kits on their allotted day and stay in their kit all day. Our planned PE slot is Friday afternoon. We will be taking our lesson outside so please ensure that the children are dressed for the cold weather with sensible footwear. Thank you.
Class Fund - Each term we ask for a small contribution of £2. This enables us to purchase additional resources to support your child's learning, an example of which might be baking ingredients and specific arts and crafts materials. Thank you in advance for your support. Please make your payment either 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. Some families choose to pay termly whilst others pay for the whole year (£12). We are incredibly grateful to those of you who contribute in this way it is greatly appreciated. Thank you.
Useful Websites & Documents
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.
Indoor activities that can be adapted to suit you and your family that support gross and fine motor skills and problem solving. However do not feel you need to stay indoors ... take the idea and move outside for some fun and laughter in the fresh air
**NEW 16.09.2020** https://f48510d9-6937-415b-bdb2-25eaa3388556.filesusr.com/ugd/603045_1153fa331bc4434481dd77a7380cb844.pdf
Mr Mc's Rhymes and Songs QR Codes. Have fun singing some familiar and new songs.
Supporting the development of phonics. At Woodlands Park we follow the Read Write Inc. (RWI) phonics programme which refer to 'sets of sounds'. For the purpose of using this resource Phase 2 - 5 activities are compatible to those sounds that the majority of children in Owls Class will eventually be working on as we move through our year together. Free activities and subscription activities available.
Decodable comics. Compatible with the RWI Set 1- 3 sounds the children have been learning. Printable comic templates to make your own comics too.
A treasure trove of stories and rhymes, colouring and interactive games. Follow a story or watch a story it is up to you. Book Trust also provide signed stories too.
A resource bank of games and activities that support children in the development of their phonics knowledge and skills. As we progress through the year children in Owls Class will be developing their skills across the equivalent of Phase 2 - 5.
A wealth of reading, writing and maths learning activities. Free e-books are available to share here.
Use your Reading Eggs log in to access reading activities.
Tricky Word (Red Word) Song clip. A tricky word or a Read Write Inc. red word cannot be sounded out and needs to be recognised on sight. The use of this clip to support this has been a sure-fire hit with Owls Class historically and we do not see any reason for this not to be the same this year
A range of games and activities to be accessed particularly good for maths. Well-loved in our classroom.
Mr Mc’s counting in 1’s, 2’s, 5’s and 10’s. Fun engaging clip of counting.
A wealth of reading, writing and maths learning activities.
Understanding the World
Woodland Trust activities and resources to support a love and understanding of our natural world. Access a wide range of activities and resources via the ACTIVITIES section. A whole range of 'spotter' sheets are provided. I particularly like the look of the Seasons and festivals section and think we can make use of some of the suggestions this year. During Autumn we could make a 'Leaf Face or a Muddy Smile', when Winter arrives maybe we can turn our attention to a spot of 'Ice Art' or 'Woodland Windchime' making. As the warmer weather arrives we may pretend to birds and 'Build a giant nest' in Spring and perhaps go on a 'Sound Safari' or make a 'Twig Raft' in Summer. Who knows?! How will you explore at home?!
‘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.
Expressive Arts & Design
A world of creative ideas for all the family to enjoy.
Full of ideas to be creative and have fun.
Daily phonics sessions begin later in the Autumn Term with the learning of Read Write Inc Set 1 Speed Sounds, starting with short sessions that eventually lengthen to 45 minutes in length. 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
1.5 r j v y w
1.6 z x sh ch qu 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
Read Write Inc Speed Sounds Set 3:
ea - Cup of tea
oi - Spoil the boy
a-e - Make a cake
i-e - Nice smile
o-e - Phone home
u-e - Huge brute
aw - Yawn at dawn
are - Care and share
ur - Nurse with a purse
er- A better letter
ow - Brown cow
ai - Snail in the rain
oa - Goat in a boat
ew - Chew the stew
ire - Fire fire
ear - Hear with your ear
ure - Sure it's pure?
tion - celebration
tious/cious - scrumptious/delicious
Read Write Inc Additional Speed Sounds:
ue - Come to the rescue
ie - Terrible tie
au - Paul the astronaut
e-e - Pete and Steve
kn - Knock, knock, who's there?
ck - Tick tock clock
wh - Whisk whisk
ph - Take a photo
If you have a question or concern, please do not hesitate to contact us via your child's communication diary and/or the class email address.
It is time for a story ....
take your pick from the story videos below and sit back, snuggle up and escape into the world of books (Password Reception2020)