Starfish Blog (EYFS)
Welcome to the our blog! We hope to share all the wonderful things that we are learning about in EYFS.
Our Class Teacher is Mr Brewer and our Teaching Assistants are Mrs N. Smith and Ms Grieve.
Ms Grieve will be helping us in the afternoons in small groups.
Here is our exciting CURRICULUM MAP FOR 2019-20.
The childrens' first full week of school has allowed them to meet Fred the Frog in our Read, Write, Inc sessions. They have now been taught the first five sounds, m, a, s, d and t. The children have also had a great go at writing these letters in a variety of activities. We look forward to seeing photos of each family, the children have already been talking about themselves. It was very pleasing to see so many children reading. It is already obvious how much they all enjoy a story!
All the children have settled in well, getting used to the routines of school life. They have had an explanation of our behaviour system, how to earn special 'gems' and have been allocated a 'talk partner' which we will use at different times of the day. You will also find in book bags a reading record. Please would you record in these records each time your child reads to you at home. At first this will include making up a story based on the pictures in the books. Those children who read at home (and are read to) invariably make far greater progress than those that do not. If you have any questions, or wish to help out on our trip to Bath, please do come and see us. Below are a few photos of the children having their first school lunch.
It was wonderful to see so many grandparents visit the class and spend time with the children. The children thoroughly enjoyed sharing their amazing artwork and lighthouses . They also had a lovely time playing games and showing grans and grandads around the class. Thank you to all the grandparents for your positive comments about the children, class and the school. It is much appreciated.
Today, we have been learning about the sculptor Andy Goldsworthy and how he made his art work outdoors using natural materials. We saw examples of his sculptures of icicles, twigs, pebbles, leaves, rocks and stones. We talked about why some of his sculptures had a black middle, the children decided that it looked like a black hole. As a class, we made a large version using sand and pebbles (ours had a black hole middle as well). Then the children made individual ones using smaller pebbles, shells and stones. We were very pleased with them and hope you enjoy looking at our efforts.
Yet another vistitor, Heather, from the Maritime and Coastguard Agency came to speak to the children about how they keep boats and people safe both at sea and along the coastline. The children asked and answered questions. They also watched some video clips of the coastguards in action.
The final lighthouse gallery! Just as with the castles earlier in the year, the lighthouses are amazing. All the children showed them off in 'good work' assembly on Friday.
It has been great to see the lighthouse home learning coming into school for the children to share. They have talked about how they made the lighthouses, fixed lights and what materials they have used. We look forward to seeing more this week!
Starfish class again won the gem challenge this week. Additional time was spent on either the adventure playground or playing games with the huge parachute.
We started the week with an obstacle course challenge in PE. The children had to move in different ways and also complete a variety of jumps, landing with control. The children then used ideas from this course to set up their own course outside the classroom, writing different instructions for friends to read and follow, at different points on the course.
Over the following few weeks the children will be completing artwork based on our trip to Boscombe. They have started with a base wash and some have also gone on to build up other features of the seaside to create a textured piece of art. These will be ready in time for grandparents afternoon next month.
Our new topic is 'Oh, I do like to be beside the seaside!' so we set off to Boscombe beach in the pouring rain! The coaches had 'Sunseekers' written on the side and within minutes of reaching the coast the sun made a very welcome appearance. The children had great fun paddling in the sea, building sandcastles, playing games, blowing bubbles and nearly taking off with our enormous parachute. They also had a talk from the RNLI lifeguards about how to keep safe at the seaside. A great day made possible by all our helpers.
We have been looking at 3D shapes and the different shaped faces they have. The children have also investigated the different properties of the shapes and had a great go at making some using straws and plasticine.
Starfish Class been reading Eric Carle's 'The Very Hungry Caterpillar'. We have looked at the different foods the caterpillar ate and talked about which ones were healthy. The children have also completed some writing about the story.
The children listened and smiled brilliantly at our class photo shoot. We look forward to seeing the final result shortly!
Sam from NSPCC came back into school this week for a follow up assembly and to collect the money the children had raised. Starfish Class won a certificate for the greatest amount of children to return their sponsor money. Thank you to our different 'Chief Daily Naggers' who made sure we didn't forget! The school raised over £1200!
Our art this term is based on Vincent Van Gogh's painting 'Still Life with Mackerels, Lemons and Tomatoes'. The children have started by looking in detail at some Mackerel and Sea Bass from the fishmonger and sketching them. This then helped the children when using pastels.
Our new topic is 'Food Glorious Food' and we have already written shopping lists, talked about healthy foods, been shopping and made mini pizzas and fruit salads. The children walked up to Aldi and behaved excellently as we walked around the shop and bought a selection of goods to use at school later in the day. Thank you to all the adults who helped with this trip, it would not be possible to give the children these experiences without you.
The Easter bunny visited the school and kindly gave each child a delicious Easter egg. They had designed different patterns on their eggs which the Easter bunny hid in the hall for the children to find.
Just a few of the brilliant decorated eggs that Starfish class entered for the competition.
It was lovely to see so many parents come to our end of term parent event. The children made some super puppets of members of their family and also had a chance to beat the adults in a number of different games.
Our final batch of Sock Puppet videos have been completed, all the children had a go using the app, some were very keen to record their own puppet show, some were a little shy but everyone enjoyed moving the characters, choosing the scenery and changing their voices. This topic has been excellent at encouraging the children to retell familiar stories or to make up their own versions. They can often be hear saying these stories in the role play area (which is a puppet show) as well.
The children enjoyed our visit to the Egg Theatre to watch 'How To Catch A Star'. They have talked about the performance, what they liked best and also how it was slightly different to the story. Some of the children have used their writing skills to write a sentence about the story.
The busy month concluded with our special assembly. We do hope you enjoyed reading their writing about why mums are special along with the singing, paintings, flowers and cards. I am sure the children will spoil you all on Sunday!
A few more super Sock Puppet videos from this week - the children are really trying hard to summarise their story telling - with great results! Well done, Starfish!
Every Tuesday afternoon, Mrs Newbury teaches music and computing. This term we are making puppet show videos using a lovely app called Sock Puppets. Here are a few of the videos we have made so far, more will be put here on the blog as we complete them. The children have loved the way the app changes their voices into different characters and that they can choose the puppets they use as well as the backgrounds and props.
The children have been working hard completing portraits of their mums. These will be shown in greater detail at our special assembly on 29th March. Below is a little taster of the super artwork - can you spot who these mums are?!
Becky from Salisbury Playhouse came into school to talk to the children about the theatre. She showed the children some different props used and some children dressed up in costumes worn by the actors and actresses. The children especially liked having the fake blood put on their hands, which some allowed to trickle down their arms.
The children enjoyed dressing up as a book character for World Book Day. The author Mike Brownlow visited the school and read some of his books. He also showed the children how to draw a robot using different 2D shapes!
It has been a pleasure seeing the progress that the children are making with their tricky red words. Your support in helping the children is essential if they are to continue making rapid progress. They continue to independently change their reading books. In Read, Write, Inc the children will be used to having the story read to them at first before reading the story a second time, being encouraged to sound out unfamiliar words or use picture clues, then a third time for fluency. They are also asked questions about each story. This method would also work very well at home. This term is a time when independence in writing really starts coming together. It has been lovely to see many bringing in writing from home and sharing it with the class.
On the last day of term, the children enjoyed a less crowded opportunity to visit our 'Around the World' exhibition. Thank you to all those who attended and for your support in the home learning aspects of your child's education.
On Tuesday afternoons, Mrs Newbury teaches Starfish music, computing and art. This term we have been learning about the children's book illustrator Quentin Blake. We took his story Angelica Sprocket's Pockets and illustrated a class book of our very own. Mrs Newbury showed the children how to use the iPad app Draw with Carl to draw pictures that went with the text from the original. We then used different colours, tools and textures to create our wonderful IT drawings which were then added to our class book to make a final version for our book corner. We are very proud of ourselves as our drawings look as good as Quentin Blake!
Starfish Class have been adding captions to go with their super home learning castle models. These, along with other work, can be seen at our Around the World exhibition which starts at 2pm on Thursday 14th February.
Two children have also made a castle with wooden blocks and the class have been working hard comparing lengths of different objects in our maths sessions as well as adding the final touches to our Scottish dance that was introduced to them at the start of term in our dance workshop.
It has been lovely to see how the children continue to build relationships and work together. They earn different coloured 'gems' depending on which gem power they have been using. Ruby is for supporting others, Diamond is for solving their own problems, Emerald is for sticking with it, even when it gets tough, Sapphire is for keeping focus, Topaz is for learning in a big group and Amethyst is for cooperating with a partner, sharing and adding ideas. Below is a lovely example of Amethyst gem power where two members of Starfish Class worked for long time on this picture before adding some writing which included 'I am wearing a blue tee shirt'.
Starfish Class walked up to Westbury Library and listened to some stories read by the librarian. Their knowledge about the library was superb and it was very pleasing that the librarian noted some familiar faces. We have taken out a picture atlas of Great Britain and Ireland which we shall look at in greater detail next week.
The children continue to work hard with their writing and are using skills taught in Read, Write, Inc at other times during the day. They use 'Fred Fingers' to help sound out words and use the sound mats when required. The children are also stating sentences before they begin to write and can build upon their ideas. Lacie, William and Riley's writing shows how they would get to different parts of Great Britain.
Starfish Class had a visitor all the way from Wales via Westbury Junior School. Mr Hatt kindly allowed Mrs Caldwell to come and speak to the class all about Wales. She taught the class how to say 'good morning' and 'good afternoon' in Welsh and they also tried hard to sing a song as well! The children looked at daffodils and leeks, the Welsh flag and were introduced to 'Jones the Steam' and 'Idris the Dragon' from Ivor the Engine. Dressing up in a traditional Welsh costume and a story in Welsh about caterpillars was also included in this informative session.
The children have had great fun throwing two bean bags at our targets. They decided on the scores for each target and then they have been counting on to find their totals.
Our new 'Castle' role play has been used a great deal. The children have been making stories and performing them to their friends.
The new mini adventure trail has been unwrapped and already the children have been designing courses and trying them out. They have been exploring different ways of moving along the course and have encouraged each other when it got a little tricky!
Starfish Class have had a visitor this month. An elf, who the children named 'Marshmallow', has been leaving them letters each day with a variety of challenges. Marshmallow has been a little mischievous and hid from the class on one morning, leaving the children to follow the clues left. Marshmallow was eventually found high up on the Christmas tree.
Our lucky winners of the super reader and super writer prizes. Each term the children work hard to earn raffle tickets to go in the end of term draw to win a prize. The greater the effort the better chance they have of winning!
The children have been enjoying using the new building materials that the school has invested in. They have worked together and listened to each other, taking on ideas and developing their negotiating skills!
We have been thinking about Remembrance Day this week watching 'Poppies' on CBeebies. This is a beautiful animation which follows a young rabbit through the poppy fields. You can view it on www.bbc.co.uk/cbeebies/watch/poppies
Our visit to Brokerswood was a great success. The children had great fun building dens. They showed super teamwork and perseverance in making two large dens that allowed the whole class to take cover from the elements. In the afternoon the children looked at some of the creatures that live in the woodland environment along with some that had been taken out of the nearby lake. The children also matched up fallen leaves with the trees they were originally on, before throwing some in the air trying hard to catch one!
Back in school the children have been writing lists of woodland animals. They have been trying hard to sound out the words using 'Fred Fingers' and used the Read, Write, Inc board if they needed reminding how to form the letters.
The children have been measuring leaves using cubes. They have been comparing them as well, using words such as shorter and longer. The children have also been ordering leaves by size along with the odd dinosaur!
On Thursday and Friday this week we welcomed staff from Bright Stars Pre-school and Daisy Chain Pre-school. The children were very excited meeting all the adults and showed them around the classroom. They also talked in detail about what they have been learning since starting school in September.
Thank you to all the parents who attended our Read, Write, Inc session this week. It was great to see so many of you there. The children enjoyed showing off how much they have learnt since September and how they use 'Fred fingers' and 'Fred in your head' when blending sounds. A repeat of this session is planned for this Wednesday (28th) where again we will finish off with a sounds bingo game, so if you couldn't make the first session, we hope you will be able to visit then.
Throughout the term the children in both classes have been working on a piece of collaborative art based on David Hockney's Woldgate Woods. They started with a sponged wash for the sky and ground before adding on the trunks of the trees. Next they added painted leaves. Finally leaves and twigs collected from our trip to Brokerswood were carefully glued into place. The final artwork is on display in the hall for all to see.
We finished the month with a visit from the Life Education Bus. The session was 'All About Me', where the children met Harold the giraffe. Harold was excited about going to his grandparents' house and the children helped him check he had everything in his bag, including items in his wash-bag. They also learnt about the functions of some major organs. Harold got the children joining in with some exercises after visiting the park. When he was at his grandparents' house he became a bit fed up so he called the Life Education Bus for ideas from Starfish Class to cheer him up. Harold finished with a song about being happy and healthy.
A dental health nurse visited the class to talk to the children about how to clean their teeth to a high standard. They showed off their knowledge about what foods were good and bad for their teeth. All the children were given a sticker along with a new toothbrush and toothpaste. After the talk they went outside for a photoshoot for the Wiltshire Times where the children dazzled the camera with gorgeous smiles!
The children have been using their 'talk partners' in a variety of activities, including learning the key scientific skill of questioning. They are great at answering questions and although asking questions has been much trickier the children have not given up. They have been looking at the baby photos of themselves, asking questions about babies and thinking about what they can now do that they couldn't do a few years ago.
The children have visited our brand new library which was opened by Eileen Browne. She read some of her stories, including Handa's Surprise and showed them how to draw a chicken.
Starfish class have also been learning about our senses and what part of our body is used for each one. They particularly enjoyed using all their senses when exploring different fruits such as mango, passion fruit and pineapple.
Welcome to our class blog. The children have settled very quickly to school life. They have already decided class rules for us all to follow.
Victoria Art Gallery visit
The class recently visited the Victoria Art Gallery in Bath. We looked at different pictures and some children got to dress up so they matched the portraits. The children then used different materials for their own portraits which are now on display in school. Before our session in the gallery, the children walked around Parade Gardens and had lunch outside Bath Abbey. They were all very well behaved and a credit to the school.
The children have been looking at the work of Pablo Picasso. They have shown great control in painting irregular shapes with vibrant colours. The next step in our process art will be to introduce powder paints. The children will learn how to mix colours to achieve a fabulous piece of work that will be on show at our parent event at the end of term.