Headteacher: Anna Moss

0121 445 1622

Red Class

Friday Fanfare 9.10.20


Hello Red Class Families,

Now we’re super speedy in the mornings (this changes a few hours later), we’re completing name writing activities as part of the morning routine. We teach the children to use cursive letters starting from the line and focus on the letters in their name. We also encourage them to hold their pencil with a tripod grip. If you have a few minutes for name writing, we would really appreciate it. We can talk about how to support letter formation for name writing during parent consultations.

This morning, we made journey bracelets using natural materials at Forest School. Encouraging the children to collect leaves and seeds from the forest floor, provided a good starting point to talk about the forest. Around the fire circle, we shared the story of ‘Grandfather Oak and the Little Acorn’ and this inspired us to look for oak trees during play and explore time. We finished the session with a drink, snack and reflection time where we talked about our learning at Forest School.

We read words with g, o, c and k this week. The children were very good at using their spelling robots to spell words using these sounds too. We use special robot cards in school where the children add letters to their robot’s teeth to make words. We move our arms like a robot (one movement for each sound) to help segment the letter sounds in each word. We also like a game called ‘Draw it’ where we read a word on the board together e.g. ‘cat’ and then draw a picture to match. You can try this game at home using the letter sounds covered so far.

To match our robots in Phonics, we discovered the Write Dance robot this week. We danced like a robot making straight lines in the air horizontally and vertically and moved around the carpet like a robot too. The robot dance helps us to develop co-ordination as we move both hands at the same time but in opposite directions. At the end of the week, we created a robot head. You can watch the example video for the robot here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cHMsJkiZbmY

We will continue with our robot work next week where we’ll add his body, arms and legs.

A couple of weeks ago, we handed out our self-isolation home learning packs. Unfortunately, the link I provided for Jolly Phonics songs has been removed from You Tube. Please use this link to practise the actions and songs: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qTqfptkcpcY

In Maths, we used our comparing skills to see if Grandad had ‘more’ or ‘fewer’ cakes than his friends and we used our cake cards to begin to find 1 more and 1 less. We continued to work on positional and directional language through games such as ‘Simon Says’ and through cross-curricular activities. For example, in PE, we worked around an obstacle course moving under, over, on top, between and around a range of equipment.

We also count every day at school. At the moment, we’re reinforcing numbers 0-10, but we do extend learning, where necessary, in play and explore time and through routine activities, for example, counting all the children at Forest School.

I look forward to speaking to you next week for parent consultations. Have a happy weekend.

Mrs Webb, Mrs Hampton, Mrs Dyson and Mrs Flynn xxx

Friday Fanfare 2.10.20


Hello Red Class,

We were determined to visit Forest School despite the rain. I needed windscreen wipers for my glasses at one point. Our Nursery friends joined our adventure too and you looked after each other beautifully. We played ‘123 where are you?’ to learn Forest School rules and you had some time to play and explore. From playing on the old log, to making autumn leaf bouquets and jumping in puddles, it was a good start to our Forest School adventures.

This week, in Phonics, we discovered i, n, m, d and we continued to practise I, to and the. You particularly liked our ‘Snap’ game where you shouted ‘Snap’ if the letters looked the same. Keep practising your sounds and actions at home too using your little blue book. Please keep your Phonics book in your book bag as we like to put new letters into the books each week. You should find i, n, m, d in your book bag tonight. Over the weekend, try to draw pictures to match the target sounds. Maybe, you could draw mummy for ‘m’.

We used magnetic letters at school to spell CVC (consonant, vowel, consonant) words. To spell words at home, either use magnetic letters or write individual letters on post-it notes. Draw 3 boxes in a row and then place a letter in each box to make the word. So, if you say the word ‘tap’ together, then sound out each letter e.g. t-a-p and then pop a letter to match each sound in each box.




To get ready for writing, we enjoy a good dough dance in Red Class. Pharrell Williams’ ‘Happy’ is our choice of music at the minute. We exercise our hands by tapping, rolling and pinching the dough to the music. In Write Dance, we returned to the ‘Volcano’ and practised our straight lines. It was lovely to see the progress you’ve made in a few weeks. I can see clear marks where you’ve used both hands and you’re starting to retrace your lines too. You can watch the example video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ygeuvwuf10c

In Maths, we played games and used songs to explore positional language. Try using on top, below, beside, in front and behind at home using your favourite toys. The children were also introduced to the Slavonic abacus this week. This is an abacus consisting of 100 beads divided into 2 colours. Each row of 10 is divided into 2 groups of 5 by colour. This helps the children to ‘see’ and ‘say’ numbers quickly. We use this piece of equipment a lot in the classroom to help the children to count and to understand number.

Finally, we popped appointment slips for parent consultations in the book bags today. I’ve given each family a time slot. So, hopefully, if I keep to time, you should expect a call during that time slot. We hope you have a super weekend,

 Mrs Webb, Mrs Hampton, Mrs Dyson and Mrs Flynn xxx

Friday Fanfare 25.9.20

Hello Red Class,

Well, we’ve seen every type of weather in the outdoor area this week. A little bit of sunshine mixed with lots of wind and rain. It must be autumn! Thank you for keeping spare socks in your book bag to keep you warm and dry after soggy play sessions.

This week, we discovered s a t p in Phonics. We follow the Letters and Sounds programme of Phonics where we introduce a group of letters, sounds and keywords each week. We use songs, stories and actions to help the children to remember each sound as we know children learn in different ways. We always say the letter name and the sound as letter names will be useful for tricky spellings later on.

One of the games we enjoyed playing in Phonics this week was ‘Stand Up/ Sit Down’. It’s great for developing visual memory. To play this game at home, write s a t p on separate pieces of paper and choose one to be your special letter, so let’s say ‘s’. Flash each letter to your child but they should only stand up if they see your special letter. This game could be played with objects from home too e.g. stand up if you see a potato but sit down for the other food items.

The children enjoyed reading picture sentences today. We read ‘I’, ‘to’ and ‘the’ together and we popped them in sentences with pictures e.g. I love dogs. Jump to the moon. I added a full stop too so the children could see the end of the sentence. Look for the Friday Fanfare on Parent App to see the example sentences with pictures. 

It was time for ‘Circles and Eights’ in Write Dance. We drew circles and lazy eights (eights on the side) in shaving foam and created Write Dance butterflies. I think my favourite part of the week was seeing lots of pairs of legs making circles in the air. Watch this example video and you’ll see what I mean: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SFEZzcJRtVQ
Picture sentences help the children to build confidence and give them opportunities to rehearse a few keywords. Try making picture sentences with ‘I’, ‘to’ and ‘the’.

In Maths, we used a ten-frame (10 boxes in 2 rows of 5) treasure chest to make numbers in different ways. The children moved their pieces of treasure (beads) around the chest and described each pattern e.g. 3 on the top and 2 on the bottom. Activities like this help the children to understand numbers and to see number bonds.

Our focus rhyme this week was ‘Sing a Song of Sixpence’ and, as I was leaving for home today, it was lovely to hear a little group of children singing the rhyme as they worked in club. I hear there might have been some performances at home too! At the start of the week, we used a picture of the rhyme to support our reasoning and dialogue work. The children were great at naming objects/people in the picture and putting the clues together to find the rhyme. We used story mapping to remember the rhyme using simple pictures and arrows to sequence the events. Today, I watched a group of children, in play and explore, pretending to be teachers. One little group worked on one side of the easel retelling the rhyme with the pointing stick, another group worked on the other side reading their picture sentences while a third group made Write Dance butterflies at the creative table and that’s why I love teaching Reception! The children learn a new idea during their carpet work and then use their play and explore time to apply their learning.

Talking of butterflies, we’ve been talking about bees and butterflies today to help us to understand effective play behaviour. Butterflies like to flit from one activity to the other while bees take their time, persevere, sustain concentration and show resilience. We’re encouraging the children to be busy worker bees in Red Class.

Just a reminder, it’s Forest School next Friday. The children should wear their usual Blackwell jumper with jogging bottoms and trainers. Feel free to send in thick socks for toasty toes in the Forest.

Finally, please name all items of clothing. We teach the children to put their uniform in their PE bags when they change for PE and we change an extra item each week. So, last week we just swapped blue tops for white tops and this week we’re changing the bottom half. Wish us luck! However, it’s hard when you’re 4 or 5 to keep track of your jumper. I know a nearly 40 year-old who still finds it hard! If your child leaves an item of clothing in school, don’t worry, it’s usually on their peg and it will return in the week.

We hope you have a lovely weekend,

Lots of love,

Mrs Webb, Mrs Hampton, Mrs Dyson and Mrs Flynn xxx

P.S. You will find a home learning pack in your book bag tonight. Don’t worry, it’s not homework for the weekend. It’s a little pack to keep safe just in case we have any poorly children who need to learn at home.

Friday Fanfare 18.9.20

Hello Red Class,

Well done children (and parents) for completing your first full-time week at school. From drawing different types of line and using a range of mark makers in Art to learning our whole school wake and shake (5, 6,7,8 by Steps), it’s been a very busy week.

It was lovely to see the children engaged in their learning in the outdoor area. We’ve seen children building dens, making a volcano in the sand, inventing machines, creating potions and drawing Krongelidongs. Have you heard of a Krongelidong?

A Krongelidong is a mysterious creature who lives in a deep, dark forest. We discovered how to dance like a Krongelidong and how to draw one in Write Dance. You can find out about the dance, marks and drawings here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-QR1bps_xn0 This dance helps the children to develop curved, flowing lines ready for joined handwriting. At the end of the week, each child drew a Krongelidong independently.

Phonics sessions focused on rhyme and alliteration. We used songs and games to help the children to identify rhyming words and words starting with the same sound. For example, we used the ’Silly Soup’ song to link and generate rhyming words. You will need some rhyming objects or pictures to play the game, a bowl and a spoon. Here’s the song if you would like to sing it at home:

We’re making lots of silly soup,

We’re making soup that’s silly.

We’re going to put it in the fridge,

And make it nice and chilly.

In the soup we put a frog, dog, log…

We also played a robot game to help the children to hear and blend letter sounds. You can play this game at home too. Simply sound out an action e.g. j-o-g like a robot and ask your child to do the action. Remember to use letter sounds rather than letter names (from the alphabet) or you might see some blank faces. Can you c-l-a-p? Show me how to h-o-p.

Next week, we will learn our first four letter sounds (s, a, t, p). So, on Friday, we will send home your little blue Phonics books. This little book acts as a record of the sounds taught in class and the children can draw pictures to match each sound e.g. apple for ‘a’.

Our Maths sessions focused on number work and 2D shapes. We enjoyed drawing 2D shape characters for Mr Rectangle, Mr Square, Mrs Circle and Mrs Triangle. We listened to sounds and matched the number of sounds to our fingers. We used egg boxes to count a number of objects accurately and we started to make numbers in different ways. So, for example, we can make 2 with 2 fingers on one hand or 1 finger on each hand.

We spend the year helping the children to develop number sense using concrete apparatus. We use objects, ten frames, dice, egg boxes, dominoes and Numicon to help the children to build pictures of numbers in their mind. Using concrete apparatus will help the children to work mentally.

Just a reminder, if you’d like your child to leave at 1.40pm, please let Mrs Moss know on the gate or phone the School Office. Thank you for a lovely week at school. We hope you have a lovely weekend enjoying the sunny weather and we’ll see you all bright and breezy on Monday when it’s time for PE at big school!

Lots of love,

Mrs Webb, Mrs Hampton, Mrs Dyson and Mrs Flynn xxx

Hello Red Class 2020

Hello Red Class,

One more sleep and it's your first day at big school! We're looking forward to seeing you tomorrow. If your surname begins with A-M, we'll see you in the morning at 8.45am. If your surname begins with N-Z, we'll see you at 11.45am. You just need a small snack, water bottle, book bag, wellies and a big smile! Remember to say 'goodbye' to your grown-ups at the top of the snake and then follow your friends into big school. Redmond Bear can't wait to see you all. He's packed his good listening ears just like you!

See you in the morning superstars,

Mrs Webb, Mrs Hampton, Mrs Dyson and Mrs Flynn xxx

Friday Fanfare 20th March 2020

Hello Red Class,

Whether at home or at school, you've all been in my thoughts this week. On Monday, I will start your home learning where you can use your home learning packs. Although, it doesn't look like you need me with all the wonderful crocodiles and unicorns I've seen! What a fantastic challenge!

Rest, play and remember it's a special day on Sunday. Your colourful cards are a real treat to brighten any day.

Lots of love,

Mrs Webb, Mrs Reid and Mrs Cain xxx

Red Class Friday Fanfare Spring 8

Hello Red Class,

Well done for completing the first 4 letters in your handwriting books. You will find g, q, s and e in your books this week. The letters have been selected to help you to practise a certain action e.g. round and back.  I can see a big difference in your writing in class. Keep up the good work! If you’re practising in another way, for example, chalking on the patio, please write the activity in the book and then I can reward your super effort.

In Phonics sessions, we’re working hard to spell words with particular digraphs and trigraphs. We practise spelling the digraph first, then we write words and finally a sentence using the sound of the day. We revisited ‘oa’, ‘igh’, ‘or’ and ‘oi’ this week. We also practised spelling ‘no’ and ‘go’ by writing the word, covering it up and then writing it again (look, cover, write and check).

In Maths, we named and described 3D shapes and you were very good at guessing mystery shapes just by listening to their description. We’re also counting all the time. Can you count on and back at home? Can you play tennis with a grown up by taking turns to say a number?

We were composers in Music. We listened to Bob Marley’s ‘No Woman, No Cry’ and then we played a simple 4 beat rhythm. We emphasised the second and fourth beat to give it a reggae feel. Next week, we’ll be listening to ‘One Love’ during our listening sessions.

Remember to read, rest and play and we’ll see you Monday,

Mrs Webb, Mrs Reid and Mrs Cain.