SUMMER TERM INFORMATION FOR PARENTS
As the children have been in school for four terms, we will be altering our morning’s activities. This will ensure that the children have new challenges and experiences to build on their previous learning. It also allows the children to further develop their independence by tackling more work independently and prepares them for the transition into Year One. For the children, this will mean a reduction in the amount of time they spend on their own activities and more time spent on directed tasks. The children will now start to join KS1 during some playtimes, as well as playing on the playground and field at lunch time and attending relevant assemblies.
Topics for the Summer Term will be “Jack and the Beanstalk – Keeping Healthy and Growing” and “Travel”. Click here for an overview of this terms planning and highlighted opportunities for children to bring things in from home to share in our work.
Can I please remind you to continue to sign the yellow home /school reading record and add your own comments, as this will sometimes allow us to change your child’s book even when we do not have the time to read one to one with them ourselves. Most of the children understand the basic reading skills and need as much practise as possible to cement this learning. Therefore, I would like to take the opportunity to say thank you, to all who work frequently through the word tree words, reading books, hand writing and phonics tasks with their children. Your consistent approach has a huge impact on your child’s education by setting the expectation of the importance of reading and writing. Also, it is a delight to hear your children make comments such as, ‘my dad will be so proud of me!’
If your child is struggling to read words and blend sounds please pop in if you would like extra ideas about what you can do to support your child’s development. Acquiring these skills now has a dramatic impact on their ability to progress in writing as well as reading in Year 1.
We continue to have our P.E. lessons on (Mondays and Fridays) but hopefully improvements in the weather will mean we can have more lessons outside and be more flexible with our timetable. If children wear earrings to school, only small, plain studs are permitted. Please send tape in your child’s PE bag for your child to cover their earrings when taking part in PE. As the weather improves and we have glorious sunshine could you please ensure that your child is suitably protected by always having a sun hat or cap. We find hats that protect the backs of children’s necks are the most useful. Please also apply sunscreen to your child before coming to school as school staff are not allowed to apply these to your child. (Please put your child’s name on their hat as well as other belongings).
During this term there will continue to be a number of occasions when you will be invited in to share experiences with your child and my thanks for how successful you have made these. Towards the end of the term, your child will have multiple visits to Year One to help with the transition and on Friday 23rd June at 9am you are invited to come and learn about Year one if this is your first child moving through the school system.
Sports Day is at 9.30am Friday 30th June and should be finished by 10.40am so the junior sports can start at 11am. Further information will be sent closer to the date.
Topics for the spring term will be ‘Buildings’ and ‘The Three Little Pigs’. Click here for an overview of this terms planning and opportunities for children to bring things in from home to share in our work.
As the children are now familiar with all the routines of school we will be beginning phonics with increasing promptness. Please ensure your child is punctual for school and walks from the playground with their class in the morning. If you are late for the start of the school day, please bring your child to the school office.
The children will increasingly work in groups targeting their basic English and maths skills. They will also complete an independent ‘daily task’. Also, one classroom is no longer set up each day and instead the children are able to choose things of interest to them in this room. This works under the policy of ‘play and then put away’, very simple once the children grasp the second part of the rule!
P.E. days are Mondays and Fridays – RK and Tuesdays and Fridays- RS but, as always, your child’s P.E. kit can remain in school all week. Please ensure that all items in the bag are named and please check that all clothing brought home actually belongs to your child.
Children have been taught all the letters of the alphabet and are working to ensure they can use them to read and write. Your child should now be able to sound out and write two and three letter words. You can support their learning by making up silly sentences with their Word Tree words and encouraging them to write lists, letters, stories etc. We are celebrating all children’s attempts at reading and writing independently. Whenever you work on reading with your child at home, please write what you have done with them in their yellow reading record book.
It is vital for your child’s progress that you spend time reading with your child and support their homework to learn the sounds to make words. Also, please continue to help your child become familiar with key words so they can be read on sight.
This term we will focus on correctly writing the letters of the alphabet and will send home a handwriting/phonics sheet most Thursdays to be returned to school by the following Friday. It should be noted that although your child would be able to complete the work by them-self, they must not do so, because an adult needs to check that the letter is started in the correct place each time using a lead in line. We want children to form the letters correctly from the beginning and will make sure this is clear for you to see on the homework. The one to one support you will be able to give your child will greatly improve their development in this key skill.
We develop children’s understanding of learning using what is called the ‘Growth Mindset’ at school and the language we use when we talk to the children is based on the following traits:
I never give up
I like my work to be difficult – it means I am learning
I love challenges
I want people to praise me for the effort I put into my work
I believe I can get more intelligent by working hard
I feel clever when I’m learning something new
I learn from my mistakes
I like my work to be easy
I don’t like to try a challenge
I want people to praise me for how clever I am
I believe I cannot change how clever I am
I don’t like to try new things because I won’t be very good at it
I give up easily
It has been proven that having a Growth Mindset rather than fixed mindset can improve children’s progress and attainment. As a result, we are teaching our children that by having a Growth Mindset they can grow their brains and intelligence and achieve anything they want!
How you can help at home
Praise the amount of effort your child is putting into things rather than how clever they are;
Talk to your children about their brain being like a muscle – the more they use it, the stronger it gets;
Encourage your children to not give up if they are finding something difficult;
Challenge your children to try something new or challenging.
Parent Activity Mornings
This term there will be an opportunities for you to come into school and partake in an activity focusing on the area of maths. In the classroom you will complete a maths task with your child, followed by time for you to play with your child using the related resources. (It was great to see so many parents attend all the different events last term, but please remember we try to do a few in the hope that you will be able to attend one of them rather than feel pressure to attend them all!)
Maths (A sign-up sheet will be available after school week beginning 9th January)
Monday 23rd January 9-10.15am -RK Tuesday 24th January 9-10.15am- RS
Wednesday 25th January 9-10.15am -RK Thursday 26th March 9-10.15am -RS
INFORMATION FROM THE AUTUMN TERM BELOW
Welcome to your first term at Park Lane Infants, especially those families new to the school. Starting school for the first time is a big event in a child’s life (and for parents too!) and we sincerely hope that your child settles into their new class quickly. Mrs Keep and Miss Scurfield are the class teachers and the classes are supported by Mrs Clubley our Nursery Nurse and Mrs Elliott, Miss Bishop and Mrs Thompson our Learning Support Assistants.
We hope this information will inform you about some of the things that will be happening this term. If you do have any concerns, please feel free to speak to us about them; the best time to see us would be at 3:15pm after school as it’s very difficult to speak to parents when the children are all coming into school in the morning. With regard to picking up your child at the end of the school day (3:15pm), we will endeavour to be out a little before home time so that you will be able to go to the main playground if there are older brothers and sisters to pick up.
As you know the children will be following the “Foundation Stage Curriculum” during their time in the Reception class. We will be meeting the requirements of the curriculum through a topic approach. Our topics for the Autumn Term will be “All about me” and “Superheroes and space”. The document FS Autumn 16 provides an overview of this term’s planning and highlighted opportunities for children to bring things in from home to share in our work. However, our priority this term is to settle your children, help them learn the new rules and routines and make new friends. We will be led by the children’s responses and what we believe will be in the best interest for the class as a whole and as such will tailor our curriculum accordingly.
Development Matters and Statutory Framework Documents can be found at www.foundationyears.org.uk
An important part of the Foundation Curriculum includes using our outside area as a learning environment. We will be trying to use this area as much as possible during the year. Please could you ensure that your child has a suitable coat, preferably with a hood (please put your child’s name on these). Your child is also able to bring wellington boots into school and leave them by their coat pegs, so if there are any puddles left on the playground the temptation to walk through them won’t result in wet feet! Please take umbrellas home as they will not be used in school. It is also helpful to include in their PE bag, a spare pair of underwear/socks in case of accidents. NAME EVERYTHING and regularly check clothing hasn’t been accidentally swapped! Due to limited cloakroom space, your child must have a book bag not a ruck sack for school at the infants.
Friends + Uniform
You can order uniform at any point by completing a uniform order form which you can collect from the red letter rack by the school office (paper copies of any emailed letters can be found here too). Return the uniform order form with cash or a cheque and we will forward it to our Friends association. Most uniform is stocked so you shouldn’t have to wait more than a week. We do hold book bags on site at the infants for immediate sale.
The children will have access to the school hall twice a week and will participate in focused physical development activities such as games, gym or dance lessons. However, depending on the weather, some of these lessons may take place outside. Class RK have hall time on Monday and Friday and class RS on Tuesday and Friday.
We will not formally start P.E until the second term at which point your child will need green shorts, a white t-shirt and black pumps. It is entirely up to you how often your child takes home their P.E kit to be washed. As a rule we send them home with your child at the end of each term anyway so that we can completely clear our cloakrooms.
Please ensure your child is sent to school with a packed lunch or book on line for a school lunch.
Sound Sheets: We will be using the Jolly Phonics and Ruth Miskin schemes for teaching the sounds that letters make. The schemes have a little action to accompany the sound and a dittie to help the children remember them. Your child will have a ‘Sound Detective Card’ that has all the sounds and letters. It would be really helpful if you could spend a few minutes as often as possible looking through the cards to see how many sounds your child has remembered (this will reinforce the work taking place at school and help with reading, writing and spelling). If your child could keep these in their book bag we will be able to use it both at school and home. We will let you know each week which letters we are focusing on. Once your child can recognise the first 4 sounds/letters they can immediately begin reading and writing with them. When they can read with 8 sounds/letters a few of the reading scheme books can be read independently. Homework with also include a sheet which includes the opportunity to practise reading and writing the sounds being taught.
Word Trees: Children in the reception class will be given a sheet with some key words to learn (these are to help with their first reading books). We will practise these words in school but again, time you can give is of great benefit to your child’s education. This ‘key word sheet’ then builds into a set of ten word trees that include all the first words your child will encounter when reading books. We will explain to your child (as you can), that these words need to be recognised straight away so we have to look carefully at the shape and the 1st letter. We will go through these words individually with your child each week but will hold off giving your child the next word tree until they are confidently, almost instantly, reading the words in any given situation and across the weeks. Please sign the yellow home /school reading record and add your own comments about which words you have worked on at home as this is an easy way for us both to reinforce the word work covered.
Sharing Book: Initially your child will bring home a ‘sharing book’. This is for you to read to your child so you can enjoy sharing books together. Every morning when your child comes into class they are able to swap the book for a new one. This allows your child to make the choice of whether they want to keep the same book or not. You may need to prompt your child if you are fed up of seeing the same book!
Independent Readers: You will find that your child may bring home books from the Oxford Reading Tree scheme that just have pictures. These are very important for storytelling and lay the foundations to later be able to write a story. We will be encouraging your child to tell the story by looking carefully at the pictures to see what is happening and then asking a range of questions to check their understanding of the story. This is a vital part of reading and should be a part of all reading experiences so that reading does not just become about knowing what each word says, as this is often when the enjoyment of reading is lost. Children will work through reading scheme books at a pace that matches their ability to decode the words and understand the text to ensure they do not reach a point when the books become too difficult for independent reading. Again, please sign the yellow home /school reading record and add your own comments, as this is vital to our understanding of how your child is progressing and a way of keeping in touch with how you feel your child is getting on at home with reading.
Your help, support and encouragement in all areas of your child’s school life is invaluable and greatly appreciated. Time spent working on basic skills really impacts your child’s progress. We wish you and your child all the best for the coming academic year.
For any information about handwriting games and activities please look at this website. teachhandwriting.co.uk
Individual attention, at a rate of little and often, produces great results!
Sharing Jigsaws with parents/carers
We thought it would be nice to invite you into school at the end of your child’s first full week. On Friday 30th September at 2.50pm please come and join us in class so you can complete some jigsaw puzzles with your child. You can marvel at how well your child gets themselves ready for home time at 3.15pm! (You will receive further details nearer the time).
Phonics and physical development workshop
I would like to offer you the opportunity to find out how we teach your child to read and write so that you are able to support your child over the coming year. You will go to the classroom to take part in a phonics and fine motor skills lesson. No siblings are allowed to attend these events. You will receive an email to sign up for one of the sessions. Do not worry if you cannot attend. Your child will not miss out on the activities and there are many more opportunities throughout the year in the hope parents can attend one of these events instead. Plus a handout of the session will be emailed home.
There will be an opportunity for you to have a meeting with Miss Scurfield or Mrs Keep to see how your child has settled in. This Parents Evening will be on Wednesday 12th October 4.00-6.30pm and Thursday 13th October 4.00-6.30pm. Further information will be sent to you nearer the time. However if there is anything you need in the meantime please speak to the teachers after school.