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25th October 2019

We have made it! The children have had a brilliant first half term in Year 1. They have worked so hard and we can already see progress in their books. I am so sorry I didn’t get round to posting a blog before but I was poorly last weekend. This one will be a lengthy one!

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 them 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 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 twice a week) Library books; normally with a silver hologram sticker on the spine and the library label inside. These are usually above the child’s reading level so to be shared, the children get the opportunity to change these books every two weeks.

Team points: Team points are mainly given for home work in year 1; every week the children receive a team point for each time they read at home, 1 for their phonics, 1 for their maths. We record these each week on a class list then transfer them to the children’s individual cards. The points they earn get put into their house boxes, Breadon, Clent, Lickey, Malvern. The team points are collected and counted by the year 4’s and contribute to who 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, platinum, to earn each award you have to get a set number of team point, 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 that 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. Therefore, I am looking at putting on a Maths evening soon, possible to be combined with some information about the phonic screening check. This will really help you to know the principles and practices behind Singapore maths and help support you child in class.

This week and last week…

The children were just wonderful at the Beeline Festival. We watched an alternative production of, ‘The selfish Giant.’ We went to the Hive, where we were told facts about the library and listened to an extract of, ‘Matilda’ by Roald Dahl. The children got creative making book covers for books Matilda might want to read. We had our lunch then a flying visit around the Infirmary Museum, which was interesting, before getting the coach back to school!

Maths: We have continued with addition we have completed a section on making addition story which the children enjoyed. We also worked on number sentences which many of the children struggled with. They were able to use part, part whole to find the missing number; ? + 1 = 7. They were able to recognise the 7 as the whole, the 1 as one part and work out the other part would be 6. However, when the equation became more complex many children struggled, such as 5 + 2 = ? + 1. The children were able to understand the concept and show how to work it out when supported through the process, however, when left to work independently they had a tendency to do ?=7 as 5+2=7 and forget the = is about balancing the equation.

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. The children made puppets, lift the flap whales, drew pictures or created scenes from the story. They really enjoyed these activities discussing happily what they were doing, talking about the story and then explaining the key messages from the story. We discussed what the message behind this story might be in relation to our big question, “What do Christians believe God is like?”

I hope you all have a wonderful week, hopefully the sun will shine. Look forward to seeing the children when we return to school. Remember Monday is a Teacher training day so I look forward to seeing you on Tuesday the 5th November.

Sara Welsh

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