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It was lovely to meet you all properly and talk about your child’s start in Year 1. As I mentioned Year 1 can be quite a step up from Reception. I am absolutely thrilled with the children’s attitude and behaviour. We are going to have an amazing year! I hope you know that if you have any worries, concerns or question I am available to hopefully sort them out and put your mind at rest! I understand some children do not give much away about their day to day life at school and this can be frustrating, hopefully the blog helps.

Talking to parents brought some common themes which I will try and clarify:

Water: We actively encourage all children to drink water and have regular water breaks. We have talked about the brain being like a sponge and it needs to be hydrated to work well and that the human body is made of up to 90% water. We will have a big push on this and keep encouraging the children to drink.

Books: Guided reading books; Your child will bring home one or two guided reading books a week to either finish at home or re-read and share with you. The “Bug Club” books have a brilliant page inside the front cover with the focus sounds found in the book and the tricky words, so it is well worth spending some time on this page. Home readers; we are happy for the children to change these wherever they have finished the books they read, we actively encourage the children to change their books on the days they do guided reading with an adult in the class (which is three times a week). Library books; normally with a silver hologram sticker on the spine and the library label inside. These books are probably above their reading level so they are to be shared. These books get changed every two weeks.

Team points: Team points are mainly given for home work in year 1; each week the children get a team point every time they read at home, 1 point for their phonics and 1 for their maths. We record these each week on a class list then transfer them to the children’s individual cards. The children then put the points they earn into their house boxes, Breadon, Clent, Lickey, Malvern. The team points are collected and counted by the year 4’s and establish which house has won the team cup in celebration assembly. The children’s individual totals go to team point awards which are little credit card type cards which are also given out in celebration assembly on a Friday. These awards start with bronze, silver, gold and then platinum. To earn each award you have to get a set number of team points, so bronze is the easiest to get with 20 team points then silver is 40 team points and so on.

Phonics: As I mentioned to many of you we have a phonics screening check in Year 1. A website I mentioned to some parents at parents evening which we use in school and the children love is It has a number of free games which the children can play which really helps with their blending of sounds. We are on phase 3 and you can pick a sound if your child needs extra support with it or just use all phase 3 sounds.

Singapore Maths/ Maths No Problem: Lots of parents would like to help and support their child with their maths and there were many questions about Singapore maths. I have decided that they best way is to show you, so I am planning a Maths evening soon. This will really help you to know the principles and practices behind Singapore Maths and help support you child. I will also share some information about the phonic screening check on this evening.

This week…

Maths: We have been working on our number bonds and have used the number bonds to find the missing numbers so if we know the total number of apples is 7 and there are 3 on one plate the other plate must have 4 apples on it. We have used a ten frame and double-sided counters to help illustrate our number bonds.

English: We have been listening to a wide range of poetry and collecting autumn words in order to write our own autumn poems next week. This is linked to our continuous provision work in science where we are looking at each season.

Phonics: The children have spent time looking at the tricky words; ‘oh’, ‘people’ and ‘their’. We have focused on the sounds, ‘ay’ as in Monday, crayon and stray and ‘ou’ as in cloud, loudest and sprout.

RE: The children got creative showing the story of Jonah and the whale in any way they wanted, they really impressed me with some of their creativity, such as, flaps with Jonah in the whale’s tummy. We discussed what the message behind the story might be and thought about how this related to our big question, “What do Christians believe God is like?”

Have a lovely weekend.

Sara Welsh

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