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Autumn 2:

Welcome back!  The children have made a very positive start to their school life and they will continue to build on the rules and routines expected of them at school in this next half term. All children have settled in extremely well, exploring all areas of the learning environment. As the weather gets colder, please make sure your child has a warm coat and hats and gloves if possible. We still love to learn outdoors whatever the weather!

As some of you may know, we received a new workbench in Red Class. This is very exciting and a wonderful way to develop fine motor and concentration skills. The children discussed how we can stay safe on the workbench, and have enjoyed having a go using the hammer, saw and screwdrivers very sensibly.

Our topic for this half term is ‘When I grow up!’ We will be discussing different jobs we could do when we grow up and we will have a visit from some Fire Fighters, and their fire engine! We will be training to be fire fighters during P.E lessons, creating a hospital role play area and learning how to take care of ourselves and others in class. We will continue to learn lots of new phonemes for reading and writing in our Letters and Sounds sessions each day.

Your child will be bringing a book home in their book bag which we aim to change 2 or 3 times a week. Please share the book with your child and encourage them to sound out words they know and encourage them to retell the story in their own words. Please make sure you are reading with them each night and recording this in their white reading record.

We want children to feel confident in the classroom and therefore developing independence is a key objective. You can help your child settle into school happily and confidently by encouraging their own independence, for example attempting to use a knife and fork for a main meal, dressing and undressing themselves, fastening their own coat and manage clothing that is ‘inside out’. Thank you

As we get closer to Christmas we will be practising our school Christmas play, which is very exciting for children and adults! We join with Year 1 and 2 for our show and children in Red Class will be dressing up to re-tell the Nativity Story.  We look forward to showing you our brilliant acting soon. Watch out for dates and times coming home in the next newsletter.

Autumn 1:

A big warm welcome to everyone who has just started in Red Class.  It is lovely to see so many smiling faces, excited to be at Willow Lane School and ready to learn.  Although it has only been a week it is clear that all the children in Red Class are really starting to settle in to school life.  They are learning the routine and beginning to form good friendships as a class, which makes our classroom a happy and exciting place to be!

Once settled in we will be starting our new topic and learning all about ourselves and bodies. We will be talking about our likes and dislikes, painting portraits, discovering how we grow and how to keep fit and healthy. As part of our Science focus, we will also be investigating our senses and we will be doing some baking in the children’s kitchen.

It’s always great to encourage communication about school. At home, give children lots of opportunities talk about and share their learning. In the coming weeks we will be using lots of new words as part of our topic that the children may not have come across before, such as senses, humans, lungs, muscles and many more. These words could be a good conversation starter to get them thinking about future learning and encourage language development further.

When your child begins full time they will be given reading books from our reading scheme. At first these will be phonics books – which link with our phonics scheme Letters and Sounds – where you discover different letters and the sounds they make. As your child becomes more familiar with different letters, they will progress on to stages of the Oxford Reading Tree scheme.

I am aware that many of the children will struggle to know any letters at first and it can be very daunting for you as a parent. However, sitting with them and talking about the pictures and letters will be a great start to reading and help develop understanding. Further support with reading will be given at the following Coffee Morning.

You are invited to come along on Wednesday 26th Sept at 9-9.30am to find out more about supporting your child with reading.  Find out how you can help your child and how to work with the reading books that we send home. Coffee and biscuits too!

Autumn 1:

Thank you for a brilliant start to our first half-term in Year 4! We are
extremely excited to get started as we have some brilliant focuses for the next 7 weeks!

During this half-term, our new and exciting topic is ‘Sparks May Fly’, involving the investigation of electricity, looking at how it is created and the processes involved with it’s development and eventual arrival at our homes, We will also look at how a circuit works; what electrical components are needed to make the electrical current flow and investigate the different combinations of components that will successfully create a working circuit. We are really excited to explore and experiment with this new topic as we will apply our new electrical knowledge to design and develop a steady hand game from scratch, something the children are very excited for.

Our topic continues into our English lessons, where we will study some ‘Cracking Contraptions’, developed by Wallace and Gromit and attempt to design our own inventions to use as a basis for our explanation texts. Also, we will look at the features and format of play scripts, attempting to write our own based on a short film called ‘the Switch’, which we will hopefully perform for the class. Later on in the term, we will study the Philip Pullman novel ’the Firework Maker’s Daughter’, and use this fantasy text to create our own short stories.

In our art lessons, we will be using different mediums and techniques, including oil pastels, pencil sketches, printing, salt and water colours, and paint, to create a series of fireworks and will develop some really creative pieces for display!

We hope to have a very successful half-term leading up to the half-term holidays but if you have any concerns, please feel free to pop in before or after school, send a note in with your child or you can always leave a message with the office.

Reading at home is always encouraged to help build vocabulary and understanding of the world through questioning of concepts and exposure to a variety of texts. The learning benefits of regular reading are enormous and your help in this at home is invaluable with improving and developing children’s vocabulary and overall knowledge. Thank you for your continued support as we hope to continue to make Willow Lane a happy and joyous place for your child.