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 Hayward is your Class Teacher supported by Miss Barker and Ms Carmody. 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.
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.
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Autumn Term 2
We hope you all had a lovely half term break and welcome you back to the second term of our school year in Owls Class. This is a somewhat busy term, jam packed with a myriad of learning opportunities and experiences.
As ever we will be following the interests of the children wherever possible and this can offer up many interesting and magical moments throughout the term! Last term this manifested as an emerging interest in dinosaurs and eggs of all things! We were presented with a rather warm egg direct from one of our Woody P hens by Mrs Evans! The children were fascinated and this led to discussions about the different types of creatures that lay eggs ... Ms Hayward's favourites were the spiky echidnas and duck billed platypuses of Australia ... what we could use eggs for ... we scrambled and boiled eggs to taste them as well as made cakes with them, decorating a "big" cake with five candles "cos we will all be 5"! We even became momentary scientists creating a reaction whereby vinegar dissolved the shell of an egg allowing us to handle the raw egg that remained within a rubbery membrane. We were able to use a range of scientific vocabulary to describe what was happening before our eyes.
There is always much to celebrate in Owls Class and alongside the children's interests that develop this term we will star in our very own Nativity performance with our friends from Dormice and we will consider how Sikh and Hindu families 'celebrate' the festival of Diwali and how Christians celebrate Christmas. Also, we will be recognising the significance of Armistice Day and the act of remembrance on this day, making and laying poppies in our Remembrance Garden.
Are you ready Owls to see where this term takes us?
As we approach 11th November we watched together a short film* connected to Remembrance Day to help the children begin to understand why some people choose to wear a poppy. We had to settle for looking at images of poppies (as it is too cold for poppies to grow and the children asked "Will we have to wait for Summer?"). Within these images were a white and purple poppy. The children were fascinated and we shared together the significance of each colour. The children wanted to include purple poppies in their later 'Poppy Art' to remember the animals that lost their lives in the World Wars and accepted the challenge of how we could make purple paint ... "mix red and blue" came the chorus of voices. We visited our own Remembrance Garden in preparation for Remembrance Day and made connections with what we found there and what we had seen in the short film.
On Monday 11th November we all took our place for the two minute silence and despite our young age were respectful at this time ... a job well done! We placed our poppies in the Remembrance garden. Later in the week we had some very special visitors, the Chinnor War Horses. Abbie and Blye, are sisters and the children described them as "adorable". Those of us who wanted to were able to stroke them and we found that they felt "so soft". The children asked "how do you get up there [onto the horses back]?" It was also noticed that both horses had letters and numbers stamped onto their bodies. The adults explained that they were identification markers used in the past to identify the owners of the horses (like modern micro chips used today). The children liked the idea that it helped the horses if they were lost to be reunited with their owners ... they excitedly shared this piece of information with Mrs Scarvaci when we returned to the classroom.
This week we have considered the festival of Diwali, celebrated by Sikhs and Hindus and called the 'Festival of Lights'. We watched a short film of a shadow puppet telling of the story of Rama and Sita*. The children were interested in the characters, Hanuman the Monkey King who could fly and the Demon King who had 10 heads and 20 arms, and were able to recall key elements of the story. We learnt that, like in many cultures, as part of the celebrations cards and gifts are exchanged and yummy food is eaten. Special patterns called Mehndi are drawn on the hands (some of the children designed their own) and colourful Rangoli patterns are created at the door as a welcome. Our classroom became very 'welcoming' as we used coloured rice to create our own patterns ... the rice spread EVERYWHERE! We plan to make our own diva lamps like those that the villagers placed to light Rama and Sita's way back to their village. Fireworks are used as part of the celebrations and the children made connections with their own experiences of fireworks, talking about Bonfire Night, identifying our safety rules 1) Do not touch the fireworks they will be hot 2) Stand well back in case they explode 3) Let the adults do the job. When shown a picture of Guy Fawkes the children laughed because he "looked funny" ... we don't see many people with a beard and clothes like him today. We talked about the choices he made and wondered how he could of solved the problem in a different way. The children then went onto create their own 'Firework Art' using a printing technique. We also used our 'puff' to make fireworks by blowing powder paint across the surface of water!
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!
Ms Hayward, Miss Barker and Ms Carmody 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!
We look forward to our time in the woods during our Welly Wednesday sessions. The space is perfect for us to explore and develop so many of our skills. It will change and look very different over the year as the seasons come and go. For example we will be able to notice how the leaves on the trees change colour during the Autumn eventually with them falling to the ground and leaving the trees standing bare in the Winter. As Spring evolves so we will notice buds developing on the trees ready for the leaves to burst forth until Summer when the canopy overhead will be filled with leaves. The children will need to consider and adjust their movements to take account of the condition of the surfaces ... they may be dry but they can also become slippery too. Likewise the children will need to collaborate at times to ensure their actions do not impact on others.
So far this term we have ... explored the area open to us making 'tea and cakes' in our den, looking through and decorating 'woodland viewfinders' as well as making our very own 'leaf kebabs'. As we do this we have been using our growing vocabulary to describe what we are seeing, hearing and feeling. Elsewhere we have been developing our skills in swinging, balancing and climbing, persevering when things don't quite go right the first time.
We discovered The Colour Monster hiding under our classroom rug. What was he doing there?! How did he get there?! You see, he is a very confused monster and needed help to 'sort' his feelings. The children described him as "walking off the paper" and "crawling under the carpet". Together we worked as a team and helped him sort his feelings. Each colour ribbon represented a particular feeling ... yellow = happy, blue = sad, green = calm, red = angry and black = fear. The children selected a coloured ribbon of their choice and took a moment to close their eyes and think about the feeling it represented and what that meant to them ... "going to the beach and building sandcastles" makes us happy, "not getting enough sleep" makes us sad, "going in a rocket", makes us calm (not sure Ms Hayward feels the same!), "throwing toys" makes us angry and "aliens and rats" make us scared. They then worked in partners to share their ideas. We then sorted the 'feelings' into bottles.
Our work was inspired by the book 'The Colour Monster' by Anna Llenas.
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 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
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
If you have a question or concern, please do not hesitate to speak with
Ms Hayward, Miss Barker and/or Ms Carmody.
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 but is subject to change.
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, such as baking ingredients and 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. 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!
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!