Dear parents and carers,
We hope you all had a good start to the Summer term. In light of current events with school closures due to COVID-19 we will continue to provide home learning activities, support and resources for the foreseeable future.
The attached link is the next block of home learning for during the school closure. Please continue to upload evidence of your child’s learning/work onto Tapestry, as well as an indication if any support was given to help them achieve their learning or if it was independent.
Thank you for your engagement with this so far, it really is appreciated and helps us to best support your child during the school closure and ready for when they return to school. There is no expectation to evidence everything your child does, it is important to remember that this has to be sustainable alongside everything else.
Thank you for your continued support.
As schools across England remain closed due to COVID-19 moving in to the Summer term, we felt it was incredibly important to take some time to look after ourselves emotionally, physically and mentally.
Having only started their learning journey six months ago, children in reception are yet again having to navigate another bend in this journey. Prior to closure, we were lucky enough to have had several conversations and discussions, both individually and as a class about the reasons behind why we have to close the school, wash our hands and keep a distance from people. This is a lot for children of any age to understand, and accept the inevitable changes coming over the following few weeks and months. It is with this in mind, that the EYFS team planned for the children to build a den using whatever materials and resources they wished as part of their home learning task. Fortunately, we have had some stunning weather over the past few weeks, which has enabled our dens to be built either inside our houses or in our gardens. We have seen a huge variety of designs, sizes, materials and differing uses for their dens. Feedback from parents have reminded us all of just how much fun this activity was for everyone involved and how important it is to look after ourselves, as well as each other.
"Children think better on their feet than on their seat"
This activity supports many areas of the Early Years Foundation Stage framework including:
Understanding the World
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
Shapes, Space and Measure
Communication and Language
Expressive Arts and Design
Today we had our first zoom session. It was so nice to see so many of you and share what we have been doing whilst in lockdown. The children were clearly very excited to see one another. Over the coming weeks we are hoping to provide: Show and Tell Sessions; Bedtime stories with guest readers; Phonics and Maths sessions, as well asjust using platform to stay in touch.
I have attached the planning for the next three weeks of Home Learning for after the 'Easter holidays' for your attention.
I have some links which might also be of some interest:
*Joe Wicks (P.E workout)
*Twinkl- might be useful for downloading resources or gaining activity ideas
*Instagram are doing live videos of animals at Colchester Zoo if you 'follow them'
*David Walliams audio books: https://www.audible.co.uk/ep/title?asin=0008385661&source_code=M2M30DFT1BkSH11181400KK&&ipRedirectOverride=true
*YouTube: Cosmic Yoga
*Nrich is a website which is used to support teachers when planning maths. This website has a wealth of ideas and activities *BBC bitesize
Please remember that as long as the school is open for critical workers children there will be a box of reading books in the entrance way for you to swap books should you wish.
Thanks again for all you have been doing to support your child.
As a school we have decorated a rainbow. The children of key workers helped to paint the rainbow and hang it in the school window so that when you go on your daily walk or bicycle ride you can see if you can spot it and know that we are thinking of you.
We miss you all and are looking forward to our return!
Please support your child to learn the words to the George Ezra song 'Shotgun' for our return to school. All will be revealed, hopefully!
As a team we have created a bank of resources and activities for you to do at home with your child during the school closure. We have endeavoured to cover all 17 areas of learning. We are asking for you to keep uploading your home learning to Tapestry so that we can continue to monitor and track children's learning and progress.
As a team we will be available via email and through Tapestry. We will aim to be online between 9-10am and 4-5pm.
Please remember despite school officially being closed we are still available to discuss, provide suggestions and ideas as to how to support your child so that they can continue with their learning.
We have been asked to remind parents about the precautions we should continue to take when allowing our children to use various apps and the internet. Online safety is critical at all times but none more so than now.
During the lockdown teaching and sharing resources has had to be done remotely meaning that there are an increased number of children accessing the internet and various online resources. Unfortunately, this also means that there are a small number of people in society who will want to abuse this. PLEASE supervise your child whilst using the internet. As much as we endeavour to signpost children and families to recognised 'safe' activities and apps we can not guarantee their safety.
Children have participated in e-safety/online lessons where we have discussed seeking an adult if something happens or if they see something they don't like. This needs to be reinforced.
I am not meaning to frighten you but it is something we as a school, have a statutory duty to protect. We have a vast selection of resources which you can use to support this available at the bottom of this page should you wish.
Rev Erwin Lammens and the St Mary’s Team have kindly put together a pack of activities for those families that usually attend the Easter workshop and the wider community. Please find the resources attached below.
World Book Online have just made their collection of over 3,000 ebooks and audiobooks available for free for children to access at home. They have books suitable for all ages.
(TBN: they are in American English rather than British English)
We appreciate these are unprecedented and challenging times for adults, let alone children. Below is a pdf presentation of a child friendly explanation of the Coronavirus if you would like to use it to help discussions at home.
During today’s science assembly we watched the scientist conduct some experiments including how a balloon is kept up with hot and cold air; making balloon kebabs; muscles; and how electricity works.
After our introduction to the world of science we returned to class to conduct some further experiments for ourselves!
Children arrived in school with their half term 'puppet projects' in hand and dressed as their favourite story book characters. The children reenacted their own, as well as friends stories, sharing props and puppets to support their performances. The children brought in a wide variety of traditional and modern story books. Children had the opportunity to share their favourite book with a year two child and their class friends. We decided to put our puppets on display in the classroom so that our friends and visitors can guess which character they were.
Can you guess the title of the story book using just the puppets as a clue?
Today the children came dressed as something mathematical. We had a variety of activities planned throughout the day to promote not only the love of maths but the NSPCC.
…....We even had some Numberblocks make a flying entry....!
"I loved it!"
"Cinderella married the Prince."
"It was amazing!"
"The swan flyed with Cinderella on his back"
"The green things were really funny!"
"It was magical with all those lights and things"
"I want to go again- it was just the bestest"
Halima's Mother and Father came in to speak with the children about the Islamic religion. We spoke about where they go to pray, what their special place is called and how they dress when going to prayer. We watched a video about the Five Pillars of Islam and what this means to people of the Islamic faith. The children were very curious and asked Halima's parents lots of questions about their culture and beliefs. The children had lots of special objects to look and which became the basis for a lot of their questions.
Thank you so much for sharing this with us. It was very special.
Today the children were invited to come into school wearing something yellow for a donation of one pound. As a class we spoke about all the different charities and good causes this money goes towards funding as a result of their donations. Well done Reception!
(I don't know where the children have all gone.....we seem to have a class of Pudsey the bears doing morning yoga?)
This week we have been reading 'Room on a Broom'. As part of this learning we have been exploring making mixtures and potions using different materials and resources. We had to stir, and stir the mixtures so that they would combine to make a foamy gloop. We thoroughly enjoyed feeling the different textures and thinking of words to describe it.
Silly Hat Day
To help raise money to refurbish our school library we all donated £1 to wear a silly hat.
We all had great fun!
Reverend Irwin came into school this afternoon to lead a whole school assembly about the harvest. Over the course of this week, children and their families have been donating produce to go towards a local charity such as the night shelter or local food banks. Reception this year had learnt a short nursery rhyme about a scarecrow. The children were keen to watch each year groups performance and then bravely stood up to deliver their own rhyme. Reverend Irwin reminded the children that there was going to be a celebration service at St. Mary's church in Wivenhoe on Sunday morning. The children have each been given a picture of a bee to colour, decorate and cut out. Reverend Irwin explained that if the children were coming along to the celebration service they could bring their bees they had coloured as it would be needed.
......I wonder what they are going to be used for?.....
This morning we have been focusing on staying safe when going on the internet.
Firstly, we looked at types of technology. Children generated a list of devices they use:
The children watched a video clip about a character called Jessie who liked watching a song called ‘There’s a worry in my tummy.’ The children watched this animation and discussed as a class what we can do if we watch something which frightens, upsets or makes us sad. The children suggested:
“Telling a adult.”
As a class we continued the discussion about what adult might be a safe adult to speak to. This again, prompted a lot of ideas:
-Mrs Worth or Mrs Whearty
We then spoke about how we can keep ourself safe when playing games on technology. We decided if we saw something which gave us ‘a worry in our tummy’ we would speak to our trusted adults and put down the device.
This week we went on our first Welly Walk. We walked down to the woodland area and learnt all about how to stay safe while we are there. We had lots of fun exploring the woods, climbing trees, looking for insects, digging for treasure and finding fairy houses.
We can't wait for next week as we are going on a Gruffalo hunt!
Chillian rose tarantula
Pigmy hedgehogs (Mrs Prickle Pants)
What a wonderful morning the children have had. As expected the children were fantastic! They listened carefully to instructions (not to use loud voices, put their hands in their mouths or to get up from their seats). Children were separated into three groups and each group given an animal to hold or touch. We were introduced to each animal, one at a time, and told some fun facts about each one. Some animals were spikey, silky, soft and smooth. The children sat for a whole hour listening to the lady talking.
What an experience and what a treat!
Today the children took part in 'Silly Sock Day' to raise money for Autism Anglia. The parents came to join the children decorating their socks and purchased cakes and drinks to raise money. We even had a raffle. A huge thank you to all those parents who attended this session and who donated cakes/money.
The EYFS team thought it would be nice to sign up to take part in 'Good Morning Britains' bereavement week. As part of this the school invited members from the wider community, in particular those who have lost someone special, to come and listen to the children from Reception sing songs from their Spring performance 'There's a Sunflower in my Supper!'. After the performance the children stayed and chatted with the grown ups, sharing what they enjoy the most about school and what they enjoy doing. The children spoke happily, confidently explaining their answers. The grown ups were invited to stay and have a cup of tea and a piece of cake also.
This years project in Reception is to develop the outside provision. We wanted to provide learning opportunities for children which generate intrigue and curiosity. Children now have a wonderful new water wall and mud kitchen!
Money raised from the 'May Black Tie Ball' will go towards continuing to develop this area.
We braved the weather to take our hobby horses out for a spin in aid of Comic Relief. The children enjoyed creating and making their own hobby horses with their families using various resources.
"......It was such fun!!"
As part of science week children had a visit from 'Pyro Pete.' Each class had the opportunity to participate in various experiments. Pyro Paul showed us lots of cool things you can do with dry ice. He explained that it is so cold it will burn you if you touch it. He added hot water and made lots of fizzy air, finally adding washing up liquid to make even more fizz. We all had a chance to smell the air and hold some fizz in our hands.
As part of the NSPCC Number day children were challenged to come into school dressed as something mathematical. Children arrived dressed as a number; with numbers written on their t-shirts; wearing different 2D shapes on their clothing. At the end of the school day children participated in an assembly about what the NSPCC do and why they encourage family and their children to take part and fund raise.
Thank you for being so supportive and for making the day so special.
To celebrate this terms overarching theme of the 'Numberblocks' reception dressed up as their favourite character from the BBC animation.
The BBC television series aims at introducing children to early number. The snappy animation and loveable characters combine with engaging storylines to gently introduce concepts of number to support early mathematical understanding. It will be through this approach that we will be introducing children to the concept of addition and subtraction.
Thank you for all your hard work on producing such fabulous costumes. The children thoroughly enjoyed wearing them, particularly when finding different ways to overcome challenges including how to carry their trays.
The children thoroughly enjoyed sharing their Christmas lunch alongside their friends. The children listened to Christmas songs and pulled crackers with their friends. Mrs Worth had also made some 'elfie' sticks for children to enjoy. We had the choice of a mince pie, ice cream or a Christmas biscuit for our desserts.
Happy Christmas and have a Happy New Year!
The Reception class school council helped to collect donations at the end of the Year One nativity production. They took their role very seriously and were extremely polite when thanking the grown ups for their donations.
"Thank you for coming!" "Thank you"
Today was Reception's first ever school visit.
We all wore our wellington boots and waterproof coats, and set off for a fun filled day. The children were really excited to see that we would be travelling there on a double decker bus. Once we all found a seat we fastened our seat belts ready for the off.
The children had great fun telling their supporting adults what they could see such as fields of sheep, farm land, a red flag, and even some 'funny tall towers' (pylons.) We even spotted a van with a lift that had taken a man high into the sky to change a light bulb on a lamppost. Some of the children were keen to share that they recognised specific areas of Colchester as we travelled through it.
On our arrival we had a snack and were organised into groups ready to participate in a senses walk or a natural art class. We went on an adventure in the nature reserve where we had to use a sticky palette to stick all the interesting, colourful things that we found as we explored. We found lots of different coloured berries, flowers, leaves, and many other interesting things. At the end of our senses walk we were all given a ball of mud and were challenged to create some muddy faces using what we could find. We used leaves, sticks, stones , grass, flowers and berries to create our muddy faces, one muddy face had arms and legs. At the end of our senses walk we made a potion. We each had a container small container where we added lots of things we thought might help the plants to grow. It needed to be mixed well before we could feed the plants.
Just before we left, our final challenge was to spot all the 'caterpillars' (pipe cleaners) hidden in the hedgerow. We spoke about which coloured caterpillars were easiest to identify and why. One of the children explained that the brown and black caterpillars were the most difficult to spot as they were camouflaged.
Today we went down to the wildlife area. In the wildlife area we found some bug hotels, a log circle and a mud puddle. Before we entered the wildlife area Mrs Worth gave us some instructions to follow to keep us safe. We made sure we listened to the rules for example, not to go to the pond without an adult. We explored the wildlife area, climbed trees, looked for acorns and let our imaginations go wild!
"I have found a dinosaur footprint!"
"The pond is cold. Fish like it cold."
"I think the squirrel has been eating this one."
Our First Week at School
The children have made a fantastic start to school life. Children are starting to remember their daily jobs including finding their pegs, putting their book bags away in their trays and their places during morning work.
This week we have been working on ensuring children are arriving into school happy and secure with the expectations and routines of a normal school day. They have been participating in a daily phonics sessions focussing on supporting children's phonological awareness (linking sounds, listening for rhymes) and developing our love of reading. Children have been given their reading books and are beginning to be heard read by an adult. Reading books can change these at any time.
Mrs Minshull came to teach us this morning. Over the course of the year Mrs Minshull will be teaching us how to read music and play instruments. Today we played a game where we had to clap fast, slow, loudly and quietly. We read the story about Old McDonald and Mrs Minshull asked us for some animals we remembered from the story. Mrs Minshull had a bag with some of the animals from the story. We listened to what animal sounds they make and tried to copy them.
Welcome to our Reception page!
To support your child's transition into school life please feel free to practise some of the listed activities with your child over the summer holidays.
.....Not forgetting to simply have fun and share experiences together!
I have attached a document which is really useful when tracking your child's learning and development. It has been designed to help you as the parent/carer find out more about how your child is learning and developing during their first five years, in relation to the EYFS. As suggested in this attachment, this document could be used to identify what your child can do and use it as a prompt to try and explore new things together.
We really are looking forward to seeing your children in September and hope you all have a wonderful summer holiday.