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Penguins Class

Class News Autumn Term 2020

18.9.2020

Dear Parents and Carers

 

Welcome to the first class email from Penguins class in this academic year. It is so lovely to be back in school with the children, even if things are a little bit different. The children have been absolutely fantastic and they continue to amaze me every day. They have accepted the changes that have happened on our return to school, which is incredible. I must say a particular big ‘well done’ to all of the children who have moved from Reception to Key Stage One after such a long time away from school. These children missed out on their transition activities in the summer term where they would have been able to visit the classrooms and meet the adults and have come in every day happily and left with a smile on their face, so well done!

 

We have had a lovely couple of weeks in the classroom and it really does feel like we haven’t been away. We have spent a lot of time getting to know each other, talking about experiences and feelings of lockdown and thinking about our goals now we are back in school. The children have enjoyed some craft activities; making moving penguins, making their own worry cup, drawing self-portraits and getting creative with our very own pot of playdoh!

 

As well as all of this we have started to crack on with some vital learning experiences! The children have had daily Mathematics learning opportunities in their base class and worked with their adults to brush up on their Phonics knowledge! Across the whole school we have all been using a text ‘Here we are’ in our English lessons; it is a book which explores many areas of life as we know it. The children have loved looking through the pages and talking about all the wonderful things we love about the world and things that we missed when we were unable to come to school. The children’s work is being put up on a working wall in the classroom so that we can reflect on all of the things the book helps us to think about. We have used Google Earth in the classroom to zoom in on our local area and could see the school building and grounds; the children loved this and lots of them have told me that they have since used it at home!

Physical activity is so important at the moment for the children so we have been able to develop our skills in many ways; from yoga in the hall to running around outside. We have also been using imoves in the classroom to give us a physical break between lessons. Fortunately the weather has been very kind to us and we have been able to get lots of outdoor play time throughout the day.

 

The children may have also talked to you about Harold the giraffe. He is the mascot for a new scheme we are running across the school to support our Physical, Social, Emotional Education (PSHE) curriculum. The children have been introduced to this over the past two weeks and the word SCARF which stands for Safety, Caring, Achievement, Resilience and Friendship. We have had lots of opportunities to talk about these words and their meanings.

 

Next week we are planning on moving the children into their Mathematics and English teaching groups and once they are settled you will receive a letter from their group teachers to explain things such as reading books, spellings and organisation.

 

There has been so much to remember as we return to school and you are all doing a great job! I will send pencil cases home on a Friday so that they can be checked/restocked/sharpened ready for Monday morning. Don’t forget our Physical Education (PE) days are Wednesday and Thursday in Key Stage One so children need to be in PE kits on those days.

 

Have a lovely weekend and see you all on Monday J

Love from Mrs Hartley, Mrs Harling, Mrs Trimbee and Mrs Baker xxxx

Perfect Penguin winners – Rocco Nagle and Fatima Koroma

 

2.10.2020

Dear Parents and Carers

Wow that fortnight went very quickly! Welcome to the end of another busy week in Penguins Class where the children have continued to amaze me with their learning; from participating in class discussions, taking part in Physical Education (PE) and finding out about the life cycle of a chicken! We always like to have some variety in our learning and we have definitely had that!

 

We have been continuing with our theme for this half term, ‘Out of Eggs’ which the children have been enjoying. The last couple of weeks have allowed us to look at what actually might come out of an egg and learning about the life cycle of a chicken. When thinking about eggs, we also linked in dinosaurs as this is a big focus within the theme over the coming weeks. To begin with we found out about what dinosaurs might have eaten and using the words ‘herbivore’ and ‘carnivore’ when describing this. The children were great at this and had lots of prior knowledge to build on.

 

We have also looked at the different periods of time when dinosaurs roamed; the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods and finding out which dinosaurs roamed when. This information was then organised using a timeline in History.

 

We have continued to enjoy our Physical Education (PE) both inside and outside; taking part in different yoga activities which have been linked to either stories or characters and also brushing up on our running techniques!

 

Computing was introduced last week and the children enjoyed getting to grips with ‘Bee-bot’ which is a programme that enables children to improve their skills in directional language, programming sequences of forwards, backwards, left and right 90 degree turns. This has been a little tricky for some of us but I reckon with some more practise we will soon be experts! It can be downloaded on to devices at home for the children to access too.

 

We have continued to have regular PSHE (Physical, Social, Emotional Education) sessions to allow children time to discuss values and ask questions about the current climate. This is a great time to think about ways in which we help each other, showing care and friendship to others, as well as understanding the importance of class and school rules.

 

You will have noticed that your child has had some log in details stuck in the front of their reading records. One of these is for them to access their weekly homework on Education City and the other is for them to access TT Rockstars and Numbots. These are both great programmes used across the school to develop accuracy, speed and fluency in the recall of times tables and number bonds. Please support your child with accessing these at home whenever possible. You will have received a letter today (Friday) with more information about accessing TT Rockstars and Numbots.

 

As always we love to celebrate achievements in the classroom, so this week we are saying well done to Fatima, Cailen and Emily for being awarded Perfect Penguin. Handwriting Hero and Heroine has gone to Sonny, Ieesha, Amber and Sam.

 

However a huge well done to each and every one of you in Penguins Class. You have all worked so hard and tried to impress us with your super learning….have a great weekend and see you all on Monday.

Love from Mrs Hartley, Mrs Harling, Mrs Trimbee and Mrs Baker xxxx

PS – don’t forget to check your pencil cases over the weekend.

 

16.10.2020

Dear Parents and Carers

 

Welcome to the end of another busy fortnight in Penguins Class. It is hard to believe that the half term break is going to be soon upon us; it only feels like yesterday we were coming back into school on the first day! It is incredible to think how quickly the children have settled in their new class, made new friends and adjusted to what is now the ‘new normal’. I have been so impressed with the children’s attitude towards their learning, their confidence and also their resilience when things get a little tough….well done everyone.

 

We have spent the last couple of weeks continuing with our current theme, ‘Out of Eggs’, which will run up until the end of next week. We have looked at a significant figure from the past; a lady called Mary Anning whose discoveries on the Jurassic Coast taught the world a lot about prehistoric creatures that were around millions of years ago. The children loved listening to her story and completing some written work all about her. 

 

The children have also enjoyed completing some step-by-step drawing lessons; drawing their own Tyrannosaurus Rex, Stegosaurus and Diplodocus; always following the steps carefully and finishing by adding their own finer details. These are on display in the classroom as part of our very own Art gallery! We have also been lucky this week and had the opportunity to make our very own clay models of dinosaurs. This was great fun!

 

We kick started this week with a ‘Pobble morning’ across the school. As you are aware we have used a writing platform called Pobble for some time in school and it is a great way to encourage children with their writing, with the opportunity of becoming a ‘published author’. We always like to start a new academic year by relaunching it through a special event. This year we arrived in school after the weekend to find a mysterious door on the playground! We don’t know how it got there, but we went out to have a look. The children then had to imagine what might be beyond the door and use this to create their own story! The children had some great ideas and we had so many pieces of super writing it was difficult to choose whose would be published this time. Don’t worry though; there will be lots of opportunities for work to be published and celebrated on Pobble.

 

Please look out for an email asking your permission for your child's work to published on the Pobble website.

Following the success of previous years, we will continue to use this website to publish pieces of work and celebrate writing throughout the school year. It is a fantastic way of sharing your children's work with you, the school community and on a global platform!  It will only be published with your child's first name and age group.  If you click on the link in the email it will take you to the website and you can give permission for their work to be shared.

 

Another whole school event we have been involved in was Biology week. This was a huge success for us and the children loved learning all about fungi! Who would have thought it would be so exciting to go out and hunt for some on the school grounds? We also had many generous ‘donations’ of home grown fungus from your gardens….thank you! I must say I have really enjoyed seeing all of the photographs that have been coming in of the children out on a fungus hunt with their families! I hope that you also have learnt something from our Biology week! It is great to see so many children engaged in their learning (and also to you as parents for supporting it)! Keep it up!!

 

We have been trying over the past few weeks to organise the children and their belongings first thing in the morning, to make sure they have all that they need to be able to move to different rooms for Mathematics and English. We do offer the opportunity for children to change their reading books whenever they need to within their English groups and we ask the children every morning to place their reading record and book into a designated box to ensure that they can be changed. It would be hugely appreciated if you could give your child a gentle reminder as they come into school if they want their book to be changed. As you can imagine when they walk through the door some days, they can’t remember! Thank you.

 

Finally a couple of things to celebrate with you. Our Perfect Penguins have been Ieesha and Olly.

Handwriting hero and heroine has been awarded to Finley, Chloe, Vinuth and Annabel – well done everyone!

 

Thank you, as always for your continued support. It was great to meet with many of you on Thursday in our Parent Review meetings; albeit in a virtual way! Your child’s targets for reading, writing and Mathematics are in their book bags today. I have enjoyed spending the first half term of the school year with all of the children in Penguins Class. They are all so full of character and it already feels like we have been a group for a lot longer than six weeks! Have a lovely weekend and see you all on Monday.

 

Love from Mrs Hartley, Mrs Harling, Mrs Baker and Mrs Trimbee xxxx

 

6.11.2020

Dear Parents and Carers

 

Welcome back to the start of a very busy half term ahead…the lead up to Christmas! How are we heading towards the end of the year? And what a strange year it has been. The children have come back to school well refreshed and eager to get into all of the activities that have been offered throughout the week. We started the week reminding the children of all of the things we have in place in order to keep everyone safe; which the children accept and do really well with. It has become a new routine for all of us and the children are loving being back in the classroom amongst their peers, which is lovely to see.

 

As we have started a new half term we will also be starting lots of other ‘new’ things in terms of our learning. There is a new theme – ‘Home and Away’ which is going to be focusing on looking closely at our local area; how it has changed over time, what facilities it has and how these might be improved, exploring both human and physical features and even learning about some significant people from our town! We will also be looking at a village in India and comparing this to where we live; looking at the weather, houses, schools and day to day life. Our themes always incorporate all of the foundation subjects – History, Geography, Music, Design and Technology and Art so we will look forward to all of the learning that will be covered.

 

We have started football in PE (Physical Education), which was great and the children enjoyed their session with our external coach from Luton Town Football Club. I can see some definite rising stars in Penguins Class already! In our other session of PE we are going to be working on our gymnastics skills, with the help of a specialist teacher who can support the teaching and individual development in this area.

 

In our Computing sessions over the coming half term we will be using the laptops to become ‘treasure hunters’ and exploring the internet to complete some research based activities. I talked to the children about using a child safe search engine that you might like to use at home too - https://www.kiddle.co/. This is what the children will be using when accessing the internet in the classroom. We will also regularly go over the ‘rules’ of keeping safe online and what we should and shouldn’t do.

 

We had a lovely time at the start of the week in our PSHE (Personal, Social, Health Education) where we looked at whether we are all ‘the same or different’. The children were able to look around the classroom and recognise how we all look different, but could also recognise the similarities we have. We linked this in to the homework activity that many of the children completed on Google Classroom over half term. The children are aware that even if we are different in some ways, we should all be treated equally and be given the same chances. Going back to the homework – I was so impressed with the effort that the children put into this and they were all keen to share what they had found out with the rest of the class. We had videos, puppet shows, art work, posters, timelines and some great examples of using IT skills with PowerPoint presentations – absolutely amazing effort everyone!

 

Moving forward with homework the children will be able to find their weekly tasks on Education City. Don’t forget to also read as often as you can and record this in the reading records, practise spellings and access TT Rockstars (Year 2) and Numbots (Year 1) as often as you can to help you to develop your recall accuracy and fluency. The more you do it, the better you will become.

 

Perfect Penguin has been awarded to Oliver M and Reggie – well done boys! Handwriting Hero and Heroine has gone to Angus, Chloe and Izzy – super effort everyone!

 

I hope you all have a lovely weekend, regardless of the current restrictions….enjoy your time together as a family and keep safe.

 

Love from Mrs Hartley, Mrs Harling, Mrs Baker and Mrs Trimbee xxxx

 

20.11.2020

 

Dear Parents and Carers

 

Welcome to the end of a busy fortnight in Penguins Class, where of course we continue to enjoy all of the learning we are offered.  As always, the children have been an absolute a delight to be around and I have enjoyed every moment of our learning. Some of the comments the children make and their reactions to learning continue to make me smile every day and definitely make my job so much easier!

I thoroughly enjoyed being able to meet virtually with so many parents during our parent review meetings last week and I hope you were able to discuss your child’s progress in English and Mathematics. The conversations you have about your child are so important in being able to work together to support them to be the best that they can be and all of the children work so hard every day. It makes me proud to be their teacher, especially during very different times that we are experiencing at the moment.

 

Over the past couple of weeks we have continued to look at topics within our ‘Home and Away’ theme. The children loved using Google Earth to focus on our local area; finding some familiar places and talking about our own experiences of visiting Dunstable Downs, seeing the white lion when our with our families, going to the zoo, visiting places in the town centre and seeing the beautiful Priory Church (which was mistaken for a castle by one of the children)! In the next couple of weeks we will be looking more closely at Bennett’s Recreation Ground and considering ways we could improve the space for local people. Normally, we would take a walk to visit it to make our own observations, but unfortunately we will be adapting this to a classroom based session using their own knowledge and pictures of the different facilities. Maybe if you are out and about over the weekend you might visit the recreation ground on a walk and have a look at what is there to use and maybe what could be added to make it even better! This would help the children in classroom based discussions.

 

We have also been watching the changes around us in Science. We have been thinking about seasonal changes and what happens between autumn and winter. The children have great observational skills and can see what has happened to the trees on the school grounds and this week we have looked closely at the changes in weather. We have used bbc.co.uk/weather to study the daily and weekly forecast and then recorded it on a daily basis and considered ways in which weather is measured; rain gauge, thermometer and an anemometer for measuring wind. We look forward to seeing even more changes as we move into the winter and approach the festive season!

 

This week in Physical Education (PE) we were very busy organising activities to participate in a virtual sports hall competition; recording our scores in vertical jumps, speed bounce, chest pushes and shuttle runs. We look forward to hearing how we get on with this as we go against other primary schools in the local area. We also enjoyed our session with the football coach from Luton Town Football Club….I think we definitely have some budding stars within Penguins Class.

 

A personal highlight for me was on Monday of this week when the children came into school wearing their odd socks! They might not have known why they were doing this when they came to school on Monday morning, but I hope by the end of the day they were all able to understand the importance of standing ‘United against Bullying’ and celebrating differences in everyone. The children are all so kind and considerate and I know they all look out for one another. After all that is what penguins do when they are growing up from chicks to adults!

 

Finally well done to our Perfect Penguins; Alicia and Oliver C and to Beau, Rocco, Georgia  and Flynn for being our handwriting hero and heroine over the past fortnight.

 

Have a lovely weekend with your families and see you on Monday.

 

Love from Mrs Hartley, Mrs Harling, Mrs Baker and Mrs Trimbee xx