Spruce Class (Years 1 & 2)
September 2021 Letter
Welcome (back) to Spruce Class
I hope you had a good summer and that your child is now settled and enjoying school life! What a fabulous start they have made! We are all looking forward to the year ahead
I have invited you all to Class Dojo, which I feel is a great tool for us to have brilliant (almost instant) personal communication. Please let me know if you have any trouble connecting. This will be my main method of contact with you this year, but if you really don’t feel you want to sign up, you can always reach me by email: email@example.com although this may take a little longer. Also, you could phone school and leave a message.
Luckily, we have the expertise of our teaching assistant, Mrs Phipps, and occasionally Miss France will join us. On Thursday afternoons and Fridays Mrs Kenyon will be teaching the class. We hope to make sure that all children are accessing all the opportunities they can. We are starting off very gently with the Year One children, gradually getting them used to a more formal classroom environment over the first half-term, observing them closely to make sure they are feeling comfortable. Year 2 children will pick up where they left off, and have already shown a great deal of kindness towards the Year One children, helping them to settle in well. Please thank them for me.
To ensure that staff spend their time doing the best for the children, may I please ask you to help us out with something? We always have to waste loads of time sorting out children’s possessions that are UN-NAMED! We would be VERY grateful indeed if everything had a name on – doesn’t need to be beautifully sewn – just a permanent marker scribble would be brilliant.
This term, we have 2 main topics:
- Pirates – exploring many aspects of the shenanigans of life on board ship, both real and fictional, which will allow all sorts of opportunities for development of language, performance skills, learning about the continents and oceans and most importantly, having lots of fun! We will be having a ‘Pirate Day’ on Wednesday 13th October where your child may come dressed as a pirate. Please don’t feel the need to buy anything special or ‘go overboard’ (forgive the pun). A simple headscarf/neckerchief and rolled up trousers will be fine.
- The Spirit of Christmas (second half term) – As we lead up to Christmas, we will be comparing how Christmas is celebrated in this country with other areas of the world, cooking Christmassy things and hopefully putting on a performance for you.
Our English lessons will often be linked to our topics. We will be building on work done last year, consolidating the use of capital letters and full stops and moving on to writing multiple sentences which include the conjunctions ‘and’ and ‘but’. We will be learning how to use more description in sentences and studying interesting books.
Once we have all settled, your child will receive new spellings weekly. Please spend five minutes each day learning these – they will be tested on Mondays and new ones given. Children feel a great sense of pride in getting their spellings all correct, so your support of them in this is really important.
To help your child’s reading, it is important that they are listened to by an adult to read for at least 5 minutes each day (Year One) and longer sessions for the Year Two children. We have a reward system in class for children who read at home regularly, so it is important that you date and initial your reading sessions in the reading record (and make a comment if you wish).
We will change the books that have been read daily (usually). If your child keeps coming back with the same books, they are probably not putting them in the ‘books for changing’ box! Do contact us if this happens. If you need any guidance in helping your child with reading, please message me.
Throughout the year, we will be exploring all areas of Maths, however to start with there will be a focus on place value, addition and subtraction.
Science/Topic: We will be looking at the seasons and weather, as well as exploring plant life and brushing up on our Science investigation skills. Your child will be learning about the continents and oceans and be able to name and locate them before long, as well as gaining knowledge about them.
Please send your child in PE appropriate clothing on PE days (Tuesday and Friday). PE kit might be weather dependent, but I would suggest wearing shorts or track suit bottoms, T-shirt and trainers and a long sleeved top be available (could be school jumper). Long hair should be tied back and earrings left out for the day. If this is not possible, please provide your child with tape to cover their earrings. Don’t worry if you forget – nobody will make a fuss about it! We are lucky to have Calvin Moorhead, our specialist PE teacher, working with the children on Tuesdays. Mrs Kenyon will be working on ball skills on Fridays.
Sadly, we won’t be able to have our valuable parent volunteers for now, but hopefully this will be re-established before long. If you would like to go on a list, please let me know.
Summer Term 2021
Well the children have come back to school all refreshed and raring to go! They have all been learning with great enthusiasm and we are definitely well into ‘catch-up’ mode. Parents are also doing their best to read as often as possible with the children and that will reap great benefits as we move up to the more tricky texts. We have started our weekly spellings homework and the children are very keen to show what they can do in our first test!
The class is a very happy, positive place and we have had hardly any fall-outs at all! This shows the growing maturity of the children and their increasing ability to manage their feelings . Our aim, as usual, is to work with them on their journey, helping them to increase their own resilience and begin to be able to put themselves in the shoes of others. ‘Kindness’ is our buzz word!
Our topic this term is ‘Fabulous Food’ and I hope to give you a little flavour of our exciting learning opportunities! We will be tasting lots of foods (some that we are unfamiliar with) and hope to design and make a salad. We will look at where food comes from and all help to prepare a buffet for the class. We will consider the health benefits of a balanced diet and also look at the those foods that we perhaps should limit or avoid.
We had a try of raw red cabbage yesterday and many of the children loved it and were asking for more (the raw cauliflower wasn’t quite as successful).
In Art we will be drawing and painting different foods and looking at the work of the artists, Archimboldo and Paul Klee. In PE I will be covering Athletics and Mrs Knipe will be chilling out with the children in Yoga.
A very exciting time! Next half term, the topic will be ‘Australian Adventure’. Watch out for more details coming up!