Welcome to the Autumn term! The children are settling in well and have been enjoying sharing their Chatterboxes with us and their friends. We have really enjoyed meeting our new families and the familiar faces! Thank you all for being so understanding in the Summer term about the Covid rules. The children are taking the new term in their stride and really are amazing! There is a lot to take on when you are a new family to the school so please do not hesitate to ask us. This newsletter outlines our plans for this half-term.
This term we will be looking at stories and rhymes with familiar settings and predictable and repetitive patterns, simple non-fiction texts and signs, labels, captions, lists and instructions.
The children will begin to learn their sounds and how to write them and will bring home sound cards so that you as parents can support them and see the action that accompanies each sound. We use the Letters and Sounds Scheme supported by Jolly Phonics. All the actions and songs can be found online. We will provide a sound book with all the sounds in as we learn them. Please use this at home to support your child but make sure it is in their school bag every day. You can take the sounds out of the book to make words. As the children are felt to be ready they will be started on our reading scheme and given words to learn to read. Please write in their Reading Record Book each time you hear them read at home, commenting on any successes or problems. In the mean-time, all children are welcome to borrow one book from our class collection and we will also visit the library to borrow books although we are currently avoiding too many things travelling to and from school.
We are trying to build up a bank of poems and rhymes that the children learn by heart. We hope that you will support us in this by singing, chanting or saying the poem at home on a daily basis so that we can develop a repertoire that will reinforce the link between rhyme, reading and spelling. The children normally bring home their Poetry Journal each Monday in their home folder. They children are invited to draw a picture next to the poem or write some letters or words from it if they would like to but they do not have to. Please do recite it with your child at home or let them ‘teach’ you! This really does help the children’s language development.
We will be focussing on counting, recognising numbers and reciting number rhymes. We will be finding out about shapes, patterns and measurement and using numbers to sort objects and solve problems. Please reinforce counting as much as possible at home by counting as you go up and down the stairs etc and pointing out the written digits as you are out and about. Each week, we will have a focus number we will learn about – using it in the environment and seeing it represented visually in different ways. This is a big focus in the new EYFS curriculum. WE will be supporting the children to ‘subitise’ through lots of visual representations of number, practical work and Numberblocks so that they can look mat a number of items and just know how many are there like the dots on a die.
Our theme for this half term is What do I know about me? We will be getting to know each other and thought it would be lovely if the children could bring in a BABY PHOTO PLEASE? This will give us many opportunities to develop our Communication and Language skills as we talk about our families, the things we like, the things we can do and how we are all different. Our role play area will be set up as a home then Baby Clinic so we can think about how we have grown and changed as part of Understanding the World. Our Expressive Arts and Design work will be developed through singing songs about ourselves, dancing to music and playing some percussion instruments. We will also be drawing pictures of our families. As we explore the different things we can do with our bodies we will be improving our fine and gross motor skills and our Physical Development. We will do Funky Fingers Fine Motor skills every day to practice and improve our fine motor skills. Throughout the term we will be focussing on our Personal, Social and Emotional development as we think about what makes each of us special and learning to work together successfully. The Golden Rules will support us develop confidence, to make relationships and to manage feelings and behaviour. We will explore each rule in turn. For your information they are;
We are kind and helpful, we look after property, we listen, we are honest, we are gentle and we work hard.
We also have a whole school set of rules which sit perfectly with our Golden Rules in EYFS. These are:
Be safe, Be kind, Work hard, Try hard and the children are awarded coloured ribbons for this which are displayed outside on the trees and fences!
After half-term, the theme will be Autumn Light and Dark – the season and festivals such as Diwali and Christmas. We also learn about Bonfire Night and Remembrance through the wonderful Cbeebies animation Poppies. Please do let us know if there are any issues with these topics. We teach about the facts and beliefs rather than expecting children to believe any concepts taught.
Physical Development is one of the core areas of the EYFS curriculum. We are active as much as possible – fine motor skills will be practiced daily, we run every day and climb as much as possible to strengthen our arms and hands. We encourage ‘free-flow’ to the outside area as much as possible where there are more opportunities to develop vital gross motor skills. As well as this we normally have two focussed PE lessons each week. Our PE days will be Mondays and Wednesdays. The children should come on to school on these days wearing their PE kits and trainers. They stay in their PE clothes all day. We will start PE next Monday 13th September.
If your child is prone to having accidents, it is useful to have a small bag on their peg with a spare change of underwear and uniform to put on. They prefer to put on their own change of clothes rather than spares from school.
Reception Baseline Assessment – you may know that this year the Government has introduced a new baseline assessment to be completed by October half-term. We are already doing informal baselines with your children through play in our provision and by doing ‘jobs’ with Mrs Course and Mrs Berrett. Please do not worry, this assessment will take place with Mrs Course on a 1:1 basis. The data will be used internally to track children’s progress from Reception to Year 6. The assessment will not be stressful at all for your child.
Each child at Clavering School is in a House Group – named after a person of local significance. There are 5 houses, each house has a colour and children can earn house points for good behaviour, good manners and hard work etc. Children will be in the same house group as their siblings.
|Ludgate||Yellow||Annabelle, Oscar, Cruz, Ollie|
|Oliver||Orange||Jakob, Jude, Marnie|
|Saville||Blue||Rollo, Henry, Thea, Frankie-Mae|
|Wales||Green||Lunetta, Scarlett, Nell|
|Wymarc||Red||Luna, Alfie, Eva|
We provide a healthy snack each morning for children in reception. Snack time is a special time at Clavering where we encourage speaking and listening, manners and where the helpers give out bowls and cups. The children are also encouraged to pour their own drinks. It is a social time and we use their personalised snack mats to sit them with different children each day to help the, get to know each other. We ask for a donation of £1 per week. Please, if you feel able to, could you send £7 in a named envelope cash only please. This is to cover the cost of the snacks and milk. Children receive the Government funded free snacks in the afternoons.
Parent helpers – we rely on parents generously donating their time for snack and forest school, hearing readers, admin and any trips we go on. Parents have to be fully DBS checked and meet with Miss Allsop.
Tapestry – you should have received an activation email in August. Please make sure you check your emails to activate your access to Tapestry. Please let us know as soon as possible if you have not given us your email address or have not received the email. Please note, you can put BOTH parents and Grandparents on too! Please do read and enjoy the observations and respond where possible. You can also add what your child does at home for us to read! Thank you to those parents who have already commented. This is such lovely feedback for us. The children LOVE to share their tapestry entries from home on our big screen in the classroom and again, this is excellent for their speaking and listening skills.
GDPR – we do carry out a lot of whole class and group observations. Please let us know if you do not wish your child’s photo/ name to be on group or whole class observations.
Essex Talk Listen Cuddle (TLC) Programme: To give your child the best start into school life, Essex have developed a communication programme to improve skills through play at home. Please do look at their website for ideas and support: https://www.tlc-essex.info/
Meet the Teacher Evening
Each September, we normally hold a Meet the Teacher evening. This is a valuable opportunity to meet us both, for us to meet you and, to explain a little about what we do with the class and for you to ask us questions. This will take place at 6pm in the classroom on Tuesday 21st September.
We are extremely grateful to Mr Simon Cooke who allows the school to use his wonderful land to hold Forest School sessions and he is happy for us to continue during the current situation. Forest School is wonderful opportunity for child led outdoor learning led by a qualified forest school leader. Reception go to Forest School all year once a fortnight in all weathers (except wind). We loan each child for the year waterproof jacket and trousers that they can wear over their own old and warm clothes. More details of the day, dates and info will be given out in our meet the teacher session. We do rely on helpers for Forest School. The children get dropped off at 9:15 at Deers and will need collecting at 11:30am on those days and then returning to school for lunch. We do not know which day this will be yet but hopefully by our meet the teacher evening, we will know!
Important Information about Food Allergies
We are a nut free school. We currently have a number of children in the school and in our class with serious food allergies. For this reason we are kindly asking that you do NOT send in any birthday treats or cakes when it is your child’s birthday. We always make birthdays special and will celebrate in class. Thank you for your understanding with this.
Any children going home by bus or going to Willows after school club will be collected and supervised by staff during these pick-up times. PLEASE EMAIL THE SCHOOL OFFICE TO LET US KNOW WHICH DAYS YOUR CHILD WILL BE ON THE BUS OR GOING TO WILLOWS!
If you have opted for the part-time days on Tuesday and Thursday, please can you let us know for definite as soon as possible. On these days, please wait by the wooden gate again at 1:20pm and Mrs Berrett will bring the part time children round to you.
Bits and Pieces:
- All the children at Clavering School are encouraged to drink water. It is school policy that they only drink water (apart from milk at snack and lunch time if they choose it). Children should bring a named water bottle each day and take it home at the end of the day to be washed and re-filled.
- We try to go outside everyday even if it is raining; please make sure your child brings a coat to school so that they can have some fresh air and exercise.
- Please return the forms from your induction pack and snack money as soon as possible – intimate care, all about me, the technology survey and any proud clouds.
- We discourage children from bringing toys from home to school (unless it is in connection with our topic); they get very upset if special toys are lost or damaged so we would appreciate your support in this.
- Please check your child’s Home School Folder / bag daily for letters / poetry journal and reading books.
- Please make sure all clothing and school bags are clearly named.
- If your child is to be collected at the end of the school day by somebody else, please let the school know by telling the teacher on the gate in the morning, ringing / emailing the office or a note in their school bag. In addition, if your child is to go home on the bus / Willows, please inform us of those days.
- Full days begin on Monday 27th September.
- Part-time – the children can get very tired and there is the option of them going home for this term only on a Tuesday and Thursday at 1.15pm. There is also the option of Friday afternoon if we feel that it is needed. We will keep you informed if we feel that the part-time option would suit your child.
- Proud Clouds – please send in any achievements to share with the class and to put onto Tapestry e.g. trying new foods, swimming, riding a bike, caring for a sibling, telling the truth, counting, recognising sounds etc We display proud clouds for the children to see – they love this!
Ways you can help at home:
- Encourage independence – dressing particularly shoes, socks and tights, using the toilet etc
- We also encourage the children to put on their coat by laying it on a table or floor hood towards them, then they put their arms in the sleeves and lift it over their heads.
- Read with your child as often as possible.
- Sing songs and rhymes and count and search for numbers around them.
- Fun mark-making / writing opportunities – making patterns in bath bubbles or sticks in the mud.
- Fine motor skills – threading, squeezing playdough, tweezering. Big arm movements painting with brush and water making rainbows on the ground or a fence. All fun but a vital precursor to writing.
We hope this letter has answered any questions you may have, but please don’t hesitate to speak to either of us if there is anything you don’t understand or are concerned about. Best wishes for a successful term,
Alison Course and Wendy Berrett.