Welcome to the seventh edition of this newsletter. Already, we are about to celebrate the end of the children’s second term at St Patrick’s. The children have done very well settling back into school after such a long time at home during lockdown, and we are proud of their success in getting back into the rules and routines.
We wanted to start by thanking you for your hard work and support with the learning tasks that we put onto Seesaw during the winter lockdown. We have no doubt that this period was tough for many of you. Many of you thanked us during the parent consultations a few weeks ago. Well, thank you to you, too! The children that engaged regularly with the online learning tasks have clearly made progress or, at the very least, maintained the level of learning that they were working on before the Christmas break. This has given them a notable head-start in our catch-up curriculum, particularly in Maths and Phonics.
Whilst some children have improved their writing skills, literacy is a particular focus for the whole team at this time. We are working on handwriting, use of phonics to write words, and sentence writing, including deciding what sentence you want to write, and the use of capital letters at the start of a sentence, and full stops.
We would appreciate any donations of old leggings and joggers. This will help reinforce our supplies for when the children need to change into spare clothing. Please give any donations to one of the adults on the gate. Thank you for any leggings and joggers that you can spare. If you have any of our school items at home, please can they be returned.
Also, if you have any dressing-up clothes that your child has grown out of, we will welcome any donations! We have a small selection that the children enjoy using in their role-play activities, but it would be fantastic to expand our range.
What is my child learning?
In Phonics, the children have been revising all the Set 1 sounds. Two weeks ago, the team assessed each child’s phonic ability, and we are pleased to report that most children have made good progress in their reading skills. More children have now moved onto the Set 2 sounds, which is fantastic.
In Maths, the children have been learning how about addition and have just started learning about subtraction. We encourage the children to add/ subtract objects and repeat what we call a ‘number sentence.’ For example, if your child adds four balls and three bricks, we will ask them to find out the total (7) and then say the number sentence, which is ‘four add three equals seven.’ We have also introduced the children to weight, including the use of scales to identify which objects are the heaviest and lightest. The children have started to put three objects into order from heaviest to lightest. These Maths skills are all aspects of your child’s learning that we would encourage you to continue at home.
In RE, the children have been learning about Lent as a time for the preparation of the death of Jesus at Easter. The children have been very interested to hear about the events of Holy Week and have been considering what they might say to Jesus if they had met Him on His way into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday.
We have been working on our PATRICK attitude of ‘Independence’, particularly encouraging the children to think for themselves without needing to ask an adult to help, as well as supporting them to make decisions without feeling that they always need adult permission. This is a particularly important attribute that the children will need to utilise as they progress into Year 1 next year!
Just a gentle reminder that book bags should be in school each day, but particularly on Tuesdays (when library books are returned), and Fridays (when your child chooses a new library book). Please also remember to regularly empty your child’s book bag. If there is a particular document that you would like your child to hand into us, please encourage them to give it to Mrs Robbins or Mrs Cherry when they arrive in base in the morning, as this encourages independence. Unfortunately, we are unable to go through the book bags ourselves due to the hygiene restrictions currently in place.
A big thank you for the positive responses to our reminder about our school uniform. Although the weather is getting warmer, summer dresses are not a part of our uniform, but black or dark grey shorts can be worn at this time of year. Can we please remind you that the only footwear permitted in school are black trainers or black plimsolls (no laces). It is important for the children to get into the mindset of wearing the correct school uniform.
Finally, we have noticed a rise in lost uniform since the children have returned to school. Unfortunately, there is very little that we can do when jumpers and cardigans are not labelled with your child’s name. It also causes stress and upset to the children who are unable to identify their missing uniform. We are sure that you can appreciate that we are unable to spend time every day searching for lost clothing and it is a waste of your children’s learning time.
The children were delighted to welcome our farm animal visitors to St. Patrick’s on Monday. We were particularly excited by the fact that two goats and a Shetland pony were in the playtrail next to our Foundation outside area! Most of the children were able to enjoy a ride on the pony and watch the baby goat attempt to walk up the climbing frame!
In our RE Easter unit, we will be learning about new life. As part of this, we will be sharing photos of ourselves as babies and comparing what we can do now, to what we could do then. If possible, please can your child bring a photo of themselves as a baby into school. We will look after all photos and return them to you after we have finished teaching about new life at the end of April. Thank you.
All of the children have been attending our whole-school Liturgies on Wednesday afternoons with Father Ross from St Patrick’s Church. They have also taken part in the Stations of the Cross, which re-enact the events leading up to the death of Jesus.
We have been teaching the children a new hymn that we discovered when searching for new songs of worship on YouTube. We hope you enjoy learning this song as much as we have done. There are some actions to go with it, so we encourage you to ask your child to teach you!
God Made Me - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4eEin85-S4Y
Best wishes and Happy Easter!
The Foundation Team