Welcome to the fourth edition of this newsletter. We have enjoyed being able to speak to most of you over the past few days about your children’s progress in their first half term at school. Some parents mentioned that their children have been very emotional after school and over-tired. This is a classic behaviour that children experience in their first half term in Foundation year. It tends to improve over time as they get used to the routine of a full school day, five days a week! We hope that you are all able to enjoy a restful time together next week. For your information, Monday 2nd November is an INSET day, so the children will not be back in school until Tuesday 3rd November.
A big thank you to those of you who have responded to our request for support with teaching your children how to put on their coats and jumpers/cardigans. We can see a huge improvement, which is wonderful for your children’s growing independence. We are able to spend less time supporting children in this way and focus on other teaching activities.
Each child has now received their own book bag. It is always a joy to see their excitement when they are given their bag! Please try to ensure that your child has their book bag with them every day at school. We will be sending your child’s first reading books home after half term. Each week, your child will be given a book on Friday. The books should be returned on the following Tuesday. This provides us with enough time to quarantine the books before being safely redistributed to other children. Unfortunately, if your child does not return their book on the Tuesday, they will be unable to receive a new book on the following Friday. Your child will receive their first book on Friday 13th November.
Also, please can we ask that water bottles are not stored in the book bags as leaks sometimes happen, which damages the reading books and any letters or other correspondence within your child’s bag. Thank you for your cooperation with this.
As most of you are now already aware, we are able to provide all children with a hot meal at lunchtime after half term. Due to the layout and design of our learning environment, the Foundation children will be having their meals in the Hall from now on. This includes children having their own packed lunches. This is an exciting opportunity for all of the Foundation children to explore another area of the school, which they have been unable to do because of the restrictions currently in place. Your children will be the only year group having lunch in the Hall and strict hygiene measures will be in place. The Foundation team will take the children to the Hall each lunchtime and the children will then be cared for and supported by their regular lunchtime adults. We hope that your children will enjoy this new development in their school life.
The Foundation Team
There have been a couple of changes to the adults working within the Foundation team since we started in September. You may have heard your children mention names of adults that you haven’t yet been introduced to. We have said goodbye to Mrs Burrows, who has moved to support children in Key Stage One. Mrs Robbins will now be working alongside Mr Balaam in Blue Base as Teaching Assistant. We also have Miss Monaghan, who is with us as she completes her initial teacher training year. Both adults are excellent additions to our team and we are all delighted to be working with them. Although each adult within the team is assigned a base for registration each day, all of the adults work alongside all of the children throughout the week. The Foundation team is now as follows:
Blue Base: Mr Mark Balaam – EYFS Leader
Mrs Marta Robbins – Teaching Assistant
Miss Therese Monaghan – Trainee Teacher
Miss Helen Archer – Foundation Teacher
Mrs Sharon Conway – Foundation Teacher
Mrs Michelle Cherry – Teaching Assistant
Mrs Dagmara Swat – Teaching Assistant
Your child will return home today (Friday 23rd October) with a home learning pack in their book bag. This contains a small selection of resources to aid your child with aspects of their learning that we would like them to complete at home. This includes a name writing sheet, number formation templates, and a sheet with all of the set 1 sounds that we are currently teaching the children. We would particularly appreciate your support with ensuring that your child can clearly recognise and write their own name.
What is my child learning?
In Phonics, the children have been learning the following sounds – c, k, u, b, f, e, l, h, r and j. There are several ways in which you can help your child as they continue learning to read and write:
· Revise the sounds (as well as the ones already outlined in issue 3 of this newsletter)
· Identify the sounds in reading books
· Write the sounds, using the handwriting phrases provided in the home learning pack
In Maths, the children have focused on recognising numbers 0-10 and counting accurately. You can support your child to count accurately by asking them to collect a certain number of objects and write the number of objects. A support sheet has been provided in the home learning pack, with phrases to help your child to remember how to write numbers. Some parents are tempted to ‘go higher’ with numbers when their child is already confident with counting. However, we focus on numbers up to 20 in Foundation year. Providing challenges with numbers 0-20 is of more benefit for your child this year than seeking to ‘go higher’ with larger numbers.
In RE we have continued our work in learning about God as Creator. We have also introduced the children to Jesus and his role as the Son of God. The children have started to learn the Our Father prayer.
We have been teaching the children another one of our PATRICK learning attitudes – Kindness – and have encouraged them to consider times when they have demonstrated this attitude in their interactions with others.
We are delighted to be able to invite you to our first virtual workshop. This will be an introduction to our phonics scheme, Read, Write, Inc. It will include an outline of how we are teaching the children to read, provide advice on how you can support your child with learning to read, and give you an opportunity to ask questions. This will be led by our school’s Phonics Leader, Mrs Whitten. There are two dates for you to choose from:
Monday 9th November at 3:30pm.
Thursday 12th November at 9:30am.
A link for you to book a slot will be sent via email immediately after the half term holiday. We look forward to welcoming you to this workshop.
We have introduced the children to a prayer that is often said at the end of the school day at St Patrick’s:
God Our Father
We come to say
Thank You for Your love today
Thank You for my family
And all the friends You give to me
Guard me in the dark of night
And in the morning send Your light.
Have a restful half term,
The Foundation Team