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Parrots Class

Class News Autumn Term 2021

17.9.2021

Dear Parents and Carers

Hello there everyone!

We made it to the end of our first fortnight in Parrots Class and welcome to our first email of the year! I always enjoy writing the fortnightly email so we can share with you all of the things we have been doing. We have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know our new class and your little ones have been amazing thus far. They have all settled in nicely and are taking everything in their stride – you should be so proud of them! A special mention and well done to all of the children who have joined us in Year 1 from Reception. You have all been amazing as we know how different it is to what you are used to.

There have been lots of positive changes for all of the children across the school as we have started the new school year and we, as teachers have been delighted to see this over the last couple of weeks. We have all been able to collect together, almost daily, for whole school assemblies, which has been lovely. We have also been able to use our freshly painted Eatery to eat our packed lunches or hot dinners, which some children have never experienced before.

We have so many things to look forward to throughout this half term – our revised curriculum opportunities where children will focus on subject topics; rather than our half-termly themes. Over the first half term in Key Stage One we will be learning about the following in our afternoon foundation subjects:

  • History – Toys: Past and Present
  • Geography – Going on Safari (focusing on Kenya)
  • Art – Aboriginal Art
  • Design and Technology – Moving Minibeasts

The children have been getting to know different adults as they move around the classrooms for phonics, English and maths over the past couple of weeks and this will continue going forward. They are finally getting into the swing of transitioning between groups and it’s been lovely to see them working with different children. We’ve been busy learning lots of exciting new things in our afternoon lessons. We began looking at toys of the past in History and had a look at some old-fashioned teddy bears and other figures. In Science, we started our unit on animals and humans, looking at what both need to survive. It was interesting comparing a human adult to a brown bear! During our PSHE lessons we shared some of our thoughts and feelings and discussed which trusted adults we could turn to about how we are feeling. We also read a story about a Worry Monster and introduced our very own purple and green worry monster Wilbur to our classroom. He’ll always be there to help us if we’re feeling anxious! In P.E we’ve focused on ball skills and some athletics too both inside and outside since the beginning of term.

Homework will be set each Friday on Education City with Mathematics and English (or Phonics) activities allocated on alternating weeks. Please can children also be accessing Numbots (Year 1) and TTRockstars (Year 2) as often as possible to support the development of accuracy and fluency with number facts. The children will also be using these daily in school and any support with this at home is greatly appreciated. You will have received information regarding the ‘GoRead’ app which has been launched this week and it’s great that so many of you are using this to log your child’s reading at home. You will also notice that books shared/read in school are also logged on here. We will use the information from the GoRead app to acknowledge when reading has been completed at home in order to change their book in school. This can be done daily if logged by an adult at home.

Finally, just to say I am looking forward to meeting and working with you all and can’t wait to see what this year has in store for us all! Thank you so much for your support thus far. Have a lovely weekend with your families and see you all on Monday morning.

Love from Miss Westrope and Mrs Sworka x

1.10.2021

Dear Parents and Carers

Hello there everyone and happy Friday!

We've made it to the end of our first whole month in Parrots Class and we’ve been super busy learning lots of new things and working hard on implementing important routines, including fostering some independence skills. It’s been a wonderful couple of weeks together with lots of laughter and smiles and also with a few birthdays celebrated in Parrots; the children have loved being able to sing to one another and share sweets and stories about their celebrations which have been lovely to hear!

As Autumn rolls in we haven't been too happy about the rain keeping us from spending as much time outside as we could before, but wrapped in our coats we’ve loved the snippets of play we’ve managed to get.

We enjoyed celebrating Pobble Day and looking at our theme of Superheroes and writing some short superhero origin stories using our writing skills in English. In History we’ve been busy continuing our learning about old toys, focusing on Victorian toys and we enjoyed playing hopscotch and looking at how to make a thaumatrope and spinning top. We can't wait to make them next week! We’ve been really hands-on and have loved getting stuck in during our creative practical lessons too; in Art we’ve been busy painting aboriginal art using cotton buds and lots of coloured dots. And we enjoyed making a slider based on the story of The Gingerbread Man in Design and Technology too!

We’re still getting to grips with the amazing new Chromebooks and had a go at using Scratch Jr; the children loved learning what an algorithm is and having a play around with the different tools and functions on the program. It would be super helpful if children could maybe practise logging into their Google account over the week to familiarise themselves with the process and help them to identify where the letters of their name are on the keyboard. 

In our PE lessons we’ve enjoyed honing our ball skills and working on rolling, underarm throws and other types of passing, as well as working on our athletic skills with hurdles and javelin.

This week was Bike to School Week and our assembly from Mrs Lang this week focused on SUSTrans and looking at the importance of cycling or scooting to school to stay healthy, help with traffic and safety around our school site. Our Value at the moment is Friendship and Tolerance so this week we heard a lovely story called ‘Strictly No Elephants’ which focused on tolerance during our class worship session which we really enjoyed.

We are keen to share with you the books your child is reading in school and would also like to be kept up to date with your child's reading habits at home. If you haven't already, we encourage you to download the Go read app, called GoAppsParent on the app store, enter your child's details sent out to you on the letter previously, watch the webinar https://go-read.co.uk/parents/ to learn how to use the app easily including for more than one child. Children will then be able to collect gems which they can trade in for virtual cards every time they read and log books which motivates them to continue reading and logging books. 

Have a fantastic weekend with your families and we'll see you all on Monday morning ready for another week of learning! 

Let’s hope the rain stays away!

Love from Miss Westrope and Mrs Sworka x 

15.10.21

Hi everyone! What an interesting and busy couple of weeks we’ve had in Parrots Class. We’ve been hard at work with lots of interesting lessons and have enjoyed continuing to settle into year 1 and 2 as the half term break approaches. We’ve made it this far and luckily haven’t run out of steam just yet but we just wanted to say how proud we are of your little ones for being so resilient and hardworking this half term. They really have taken on our routines amazingly well and it has been lovely to see them blossom in the classrooms. 

While we’ve enjoyed all of our learning, the children seem to be soaking up all of the knowledge and skills given in their afternoon lessons in Parrots Class at the moment, including fun P.E lessons with Mrs Harrison and calming painting lessons for Art. Last week was Biology Week with a whole school focus on plants and we enjoyed planting some seeds to observe their changes over time as they grow in our KS1 area. We also learnt about the life cycle of a plant and examined some different seeds too. We’ve also been looking at Animals including humans in our regular science lessons and the children really enjoyed learning about the different classes of animals, including mammals and amphibians and how to care for pets, as well as starting to understand inheritance and the features that animals and humans get from their parents, like the colour of our eyes! Our learning on how to care for pets this half term also came in handy last week when the school guinea pigs made their week-long visit to our class and we had an opportunity to feed them which resulted in lots of giggling and smiles afterwards. 

We’re looking forward to our school trip next week to Wardown Park for history and have been learning about lots of old-fashioned toys in preparation. We made a thaumatrope and a spinning top in our lessons and looked at old-fashioned toy shops – they looked very different to ours nowadays! And even drew some toys we think our grandparents would have used when they were little, including a rocking horse, toy cars and jacks. 

We enjoyed a music assembly on Wednesday this week where we had the chance to listen to a variety of different instruments in the hall. It has also been great to see some of the children taking up learning to play an instrument at school too – something I wish I had done when I was younger! 

Our Art lessons have been lovely over the past couple of weeks and we’ve really enjoyed spending Friday afternoons painting Aboriginal art using traditional earth colours and aboriginal patterns, including making our own cardboard boomerangs. Some examples of their work have been displayed on the boards in the classroom to show our learning journey thus far and are looking beautiful and bright!

Thank you to everyone who attended the learning review meetings last night too – it was great to meet and speak with you all, albeit through a screen. 

We hope you have a fantastic restful weekend with your families before next week and we will see the children bright and early Monday morning! 

Lots of love from Miss Westrope and Mrs Sworka x 

5.11.2021

Hello there everyone! We’ve completed our first week back after half term break and I’m sure you can all agree we needed the rest last week. We hope you all enjoyed your time off with your loved ones. The children were very excited to tell us how they dressed up and celebrated Halloween! Speaking of celebrations, we have been getting clued up on the history of Bonfire Night ready for today – the 5th November – with a great assembly from Mrs Tree. We learnt the short rhyme for the Gunpowder Plot – ask your children if they can remember it! We also created some lovely firework art which we’ve displayed in our classroom – the children really enjoyed using eye-catching, bold pastels on black card to make the colours pop and stand out.

Now winter has well and truly arrived we’ve been enjoying lots of learning tucked up in our nice cosy warm classrooms but have also loved being outdoors in the brisk fresh air – please remind your children to bring warm clothing in for playtimes and to wrap up warm for our outdoor P.E lessons too so we can enjoy our time outside without feeling too chilly! We’re looking forward to linking the wintery weather to our Seasonal Changes Science topic in a few weeks’ time.

On their return to school this week the children were informed of their new phonics teaching and how it will work going forward. They have transitioned well into their new groupings and have really enjoyed being with different adults and children and even meeting Fred the frog ready for Fred Talk. Ask your little ones if they can tell you if they remember what’s special about Fred. In our writing and reading we have been focusing on the Great Fire of London, linked with our history theme for this half term which we are super excited for!

In PE this half term we are focusing on winter dance and continuing learning and honing various different ball skills. We also started our Geography learning this week with a recap of the 7 continents and 5 rivers of the world – Parrots Class absolutely loved the catchy songs we used to remember the keywords and locations and can most likely recite them by heart now after several requests for them this week. A big well done to all children in Parrots class for practising their typing and signing into their Google account at home – this has paid off massively in our computing lessons! Keep up the good work, everyone.

The biggest change for us this half term is the implementation across the school of our new Phonics teaching program, which we are all very excited about and have been working very hard behind the scenes to get this up and running for the children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2. As you are aware Phonics is a huge priority for us to ensure all children are able to develop phonics skills to unlock their reading potential and we feel that our new scheme, Read Write Inc is the best way to unlock this for our children. All of the adults have now received training in delivering this programme and we are now delivering as part of your child’s daily diet of learning. There will be more information coming out to you, as parents in the coming weeks, including some parent and carer training.

A few additional notices and small requests:

  • There will be no girls football club at lunchtimes for the foreseeable future.
  • Children will be sent home with pencil cases and water bottles each Friday as usual – please double check they are fully equipped for the next few weeks and have a suitable bottle to use in school.
  • Please could we ask that every child in KS1 bring in a cereal box to decorate in class in the next few weeks and also any empty tissue boxes (or similar) could be saved and shared with us would be greatly appreciated. This is for our Great Fire of London learning and also for one of the planned R.E activities.
  • English homework will go out today for this weekend and next week’s will be Maths. Please sign into EducationCity to access this. Logins were sent home last half term for this. 
  • Please ensure all additional winter clothing is labelled accordingly, such as gloves and hats where possible.

Many thanks in advance for your help with this!

We hope you have a fantastic fun-filled weekend with your families and we will see the children for another wonderful week on Monday morning!

Lots of love from Miss Westrope and Mrs Sworka x

19.11.2021

 Happy Friday everyone! We’ve made it through another fortnight of fun in Parrots Class. We’ve been busy parrots with lots to do and learn over the past couple of weeks. We’ve enjoyed wrapping up warm and still getting outside for fresh air during these chilly winter months. We have even been discussing the possible prospect of snow (fingers crossed!) as we’ve started our new class novel and key text ‘The Snowman’ by Michael Murpurgo. We’ve all settled really well into our new phonics groups with our new Read Write Inc scheme – it’s been amazing seeing the children applying their new skills to other parts of their learning too, such as watching them using ‘Fred fingers’ to sound out and spell words during other lessons.

We’ve kicked off our new History topic ‘The Great Fire of London’ and watched some very interesting videos about London back in 1666 and how the fire started in Thomas Farriner’s bakery in Pudding Lane. See if your little ones can remember how the fire started in the bakery! We had a go at sequencing the timeline of events that took places over the four days that the fire lasted for. In Geography we’ve been learning about our planet and different parts of the world, such as the equator, the different continents and even a country called Ecuador. We used the Chromebooks to research lots of information and find out new facts too.

We had a special visit this week too with our minibeasts session in the hall. We were super excited to meet lots of different creatures, including a tree frog, a type of millipede, a very hairy tarantula, a tortoise called Sheldon and even a scorpion. The children were completely enamoured with them and lots of them were even brave enough to touch some of them which we were very impressed with! Even the adults were too afraid to touch some of the creepy crawlies so well done, children! They showed great focus and were a credit to our school during the session.

As it was Anti-Bullying week this week we’ve taken part in lots of activities linked to our theme of ‘One kind word’ in our lessons. We looked at what makes a good friend and what counts as ‘bad’ characteristics, as well as discussing the difference between teasing, being unkind and bullying and what we can do to try and spread kindness and prevent unkindness in school and outside too. The children loved their Odd Sock Day and even designed a pair of their own which are now proudly displayed on a handy little washing line in our classroom.

A few reminders going forward:

  • Just a quick reminder to please check pencil cases over the weekend to ensure children are fully equipped for the week ahead with writing pencils and other items.
  • Homework this week will be set on EducationCity – this week is English for Base Class
  • Remember to log the children’s reading on the GoRead – we’ve been keeping an eye on this as a class and seeing who is racking up rewards with their entries
  • We have had a few children’s belongings and items (such as toys and personal items) going missing over the past fortnight so could you please check at home to ensure items are returned to school if found. Thank you in advance for this.
  • Thank you so much for the toilet roll and cereal box donations – keep them coming if possible please! We’re getting geared up to use them very soon.

We hope you all have a fantastic weekend and we can’t wait to see what we get up to next week!

See you on Monday!

Love from Miss Westrope and Mrs Sworka x