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, Ms Grieve and Mrs Phillips.
Ms Grieve will be helping us in the afternoons in small groups. Mrs Phillips helps during our maths sessions after morning play.
Here is our exciting CURRICULUM MAP FOR 2019-20.
We all had a fantastic day out at Caenhill Countryside Centre and especially enjoyed getting to know so many different animals and helping out with a variety of jobs such as planting hazel trees and feeding the lambs, pigs and cows. The children got to handle many of the animals, most of which roamed freely around the farm in between the children!
Starfish Class joined in with the whole school effort of running 200 miles this week in aid of Sports Relief. Each morning they ran multiple times around either the trim trail or the playground. The enthusiasm of the children was superb with many running much further than was required!
The children have really enjoyed having the chicks in class for the two weeks and have all had a photo taken with them. Some are now being looked after by one of our wonderful parents until we can arrange larger accommodation at school, whilst some others have moved in with the Channon family.
And then there were six!
They keep on coming! The children have been amazed at the chicks' determination when cracking open the eggs. They have been surprised at how exhausted they are when newly hatched but also by the speed that they 'fluff up' and make friends with the other chicks. Now that there are a few chicks hatched, we have moved them into the brooding box where a light keeps them warm and food and water is on offer.
It is not only chicks that have been with us, we have also had a visit from two African Land Snails. The children had to spray their hands with water so these cold blooded animals could move easily. As with the chicks, the children showed great interest and observed the snails in great detail.
Excitement levels went up a few levels today as our first chick hatched out! This is Bob.
Starfish Class have had a delivery! We expect some developments very soon and will keep you updated. The children are very excited and have started to think of some names.
Thank you to all the parents who came and supported our 'Around the World' exhibition. We hope you enjoyed looking at all the work from each year group. The children got another chance to look around the following morning where we talked about how much progress they had made since starting school and what their work will be like in the months and years ahead.
If you haven't yet signed up for parents' evening the sign up sheets will be out again on Monday morning. On Thursday 5th March is World Book Day. We would like the children to dress up as a character from a book that they have enjoyed.
It has been great to see so many 'Westbury models' come into school from home, ready for our exhibition on Thursday 13th February. The children have been busy talking about how they made the model, who helped them and what the tricky bits were. They have also started to write some captions to go with them and we also had time to lay them out in the hall making our own model Westbury with houses, White Horses, train stations, swimming pools, Arla factories, cement works and much more!
In maths we have been adding two amounts together. We have talked about how we can start to 'count on' from one amount rather than 'counting all'. Some have also used a part/whole diagram to show their number story.
Read, Write, Inc assessments have been taking place this week and it is great to see continued progress. If parents and carers would like to know more about how Read, Write, Inc is taught there will be two workshops taking place on Tuesday 4th February at 9am and 2.30pm.
Starfish Class walked through the park and High Street to the library where we were met by the librarians. One librarian kindly read One House for All, The Lion Who Wanted to Love and The Smeds and the Smoos to the class who listened very well, asking and answering questions about the stories. They also had time to look at the books on offer. The children have all been given library membership forms in case they are not already members. If they have a favourite book they are welcome to bring it into school and share it with the class.
Another busy week ended with a visitor to school teaching dance to the class. They listened well and built up a dance bit by bit. The children have also been constructing buildings outside, started to use our new (muddy) digging area and produced some super collages of their homes which are on display in class.
On Friday we went on our first Explorer walk of the year, looking at our immediate environment and where we live. We looked at the different types of houses and talked about what things are static such as traffic lights, post boxes and the White Horse whilst other things such as parked cars may move away. When we got back to school the children started making simple maps using chalk. They talked about where we had gone and which direction to go.
We have started the year thinking about how an amount can be split into two smaller amounts. The children have completed various activities looking at these number bonds and have started to record their findings. They found it trickier to explain for example, what amount could be in the bag when told that there were five pebbles in total, split into two bags, so we will continue with this over the coming weeks.
The final week of term was as busy as ever. The children have been writing Christmas wishes, ordering the size of crackers, baubles, candy canes and Christmas trees, comparing the weight of presents, walking to the church for our Christmas service, eating Christmas lunch and having a Christmas party!
It was great to see so many children show off their new found confidence, performing on stage, singing the songs from A Wriggly Nativity. They worked very hard in a short space of time to learn the words and they all looked fabulous dressed up!
Another busy week has gone by which has included Read, Write, Inc assessments. It has been great to see so much rapid progress by the children since they started school. We would hope that by this stage of the year the children would be confident stating the single letter 'Set 1' sounds and to orally blend simple words such as 'pan'. Reading records have been updated which will inform you of any sounds that need reinforcing and the next sounds to practice such as 'ng', 'th', 'nk', 'ch', 'qu', and 'sh'. Over the next few weeks I will start attaching some 'tricky red words' to the reading diaries. These are words that the children cannot sound out (they may tell you that you 'cannot Fred a red') and need to be learnt 'off by heart'. This will allow them to read at a faster pace at a later date.
This week we will start to practice our Christmas nativity. If you are having any difficulty in providing a costume as stated on the letter please let us know as soon as possible. Thank you.
Read, Write, Inc carries on at a fast pace. The children have enjoyed using the magnetic boards to make words and read them back. They use their 'Fred fingers' to help them decide which sounds they require and in which order they need to be, starting on the left.
Our second trip of the year took us to the National Trust gardens at Stourhead. Despite a little drizzle the children enjoyed walking around the grounds finding a variety of leaves. They also had great fun climbing up the slippery slopes, walking through the dark tunnel, collecting natural objects from the woodland floor and splashing in the puddles.
All the children in Starfish Class looked gorgeous during our recent photoshoot.
We have started the new term with a new topic. This first week has been spent looking for signs of Autumn around the school grounds. The children have completed some writing along with leaf rubbings. We finished the week by planting trees which included Wild Cherry, Hawthorn, Rowan and Hazel which over the years will help bring in more wildlife for the children to observe and look after.
During our maths sessions this week the children have been learning outside the classroom looking for different shapes around the school grounds. They have made some rubbings of these 2D shapes. The following day we ventured into our wildlife area and used natural materials to make shapes and photograph them. The children have been naming the shapes and describing them using super vocabulary such as sides, corners, curved, straight and opposite. We have also talked about how to keep safe in different environments.
The children have been putting the finishing touches to their self portraits ready for our parent event on Wednesday 23rd October. If you are able to come along from 2pm it would be great to see you. It will allow the children to share their learning with you from Term 1 and also let them show you around the classroom, meet Fred Frog and learn more about our gem powers.
Another wet week doesn't stop the learning! The children will continue to access both indoor and outdoor activities whatever the weather. This will enable them to have different experiences and be able to talk about some of the things they have observed, looking closely at similarities, differences, patterns and change in the world around them. If you don't yet have any wellies in school it would be helpful if you could bring some in ready for Term 2.
Starfish Class were invited to Westbury Junior School on Friday afternoon to watch The Bird Show. The children enjoyed watching this live performance and listened well to the story. This was based around our environment, how we should look after it, think about what we throw away and how to look after creatures. The performers used bird props made from recycled objects which the children now want to make back in class.
It was great to see that Starfish Class were the 'Reading Heroes' this week. Thank you to all who read with the children and for updating the reading records. They have all been trying really hard learning new sounds, writing the letters and orally blending the sounds to make a word. We have tried hard to look at the lips of the person stating the sounds. Those that do this regularly are picking up oral blending very quickly. If you would like to have a go at home that would be great. The children were introduced to our first 'special friends' sound this week. Special friends are two letters that make one sound. The 19 sounds taught so far are: m, a, s, d, t, i, n, p, g, o, c, k, u, b, f, e, l, h and sh.
This week we have been reinforcing class rules and showing that we can and should have super manners at all times. The children have been introduced to further learning 'gems'. These aim to develop their ability to 'stick with it' when they encounter problems, solve their own problems and encourage their friends. The gems can be gained at any point during the school day and are counted up at the end of each week. If they gain more than the teachers they receive an additional treat. Winning 84-60, Starfish Class had extra time on our adventure playground where they showed off their climbing and balancing skills.
The children had a great day in Bath on our first trip of the year. We visited Henrietta Park to have an early lunch, climb a tree and roll down slopes before walking back to the Victoria Art gallery. On the way we watched the climate change protest which was full of children, banners, chanting and music. At the gallery the children looked closely at the portraits, answering questions about each one, with some having the chance to dress up. Starfish class then had a go at their own self portraits which will be on display in class soon. Thank you to our parent helpers, without you the trip would not take place.
Starfish Class has two new school council members who now proudly wear their school council badges. You can find out more about the school council under the 'teaching and learning' tab on the website.
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.