This half term has seen the children very focused on their learning, with superb progress being made in phonics, putting their knowledge into practise, and writing captions and sentences. This hard work has been visible in their reading too, more recently with the children getting to read a task when they open the advent calendar.

In maths they have formed numbers in rice, shaving foam and playdough, and made numbers using loose parts. Lots of number work has been undertaken, including number sequencing by using dot-to-dot pictures, even making their own! Using a metre ruler, they measured sticks and then used the saw to create the length needed for their calendars. Monty the Mathematician has joined the class and the children have enjoyed exploring the contents of his bag, problem-solving and discussing to discover the mathematical links. 

They have explored 2d shapes and created houses using recycled fabrics, including a range of old clothes. Introducing 3d shapes, the children counted the faces and looked at shapes in the environment and wrapping presents identifying the 3d shapes and practising their fine motor skills. They explored symmetry with windows positioned in houses and completing self-portraits.  

The children have created some amazing Mandalas, both in the classroom and in the woods, working in pairs and small groups, showing good communication skills. Using mud dug from our forest floor, mixed with water, mehndi patterns were painted on their hands to celebrate the Hindu Festival of Light.

The children have explored their family trees, talking about grandparents, aunties, uncles, and cousins. The children love talking about home and their families and some have also had the opportunity to take Henry home for the weekend and then sharing their adventures with the class on the Monday.   

The children learnt about people living with disabilities, the difficulties they face and the amazing ways they adapt. We looked at the artwork of Henry Fraser, who paints with his mouth and then went outside to recreate one of his pieces using the paintbrush in their mouths. It was not very easy! Using lots of practical activities including trying to find their friend through touch, drawing without seeing, walking round the classroom with a friend helping and identifying a range of objects by touch, they learnt about being blind or partially sighted. They began to understand that the words they used were very important to help support their friends.

A wonderful visit by Mr Walker and his team of dentists and nurses proved to be hands on and very informative. They discovered that sugars attack teeth and should be limited in their diet to avoid decay. They were very surprised to learn that the dried fruit had more sugar than the fizzy drinks! 

The reception children look forward to PE and have enjoyed working with Mr Bell on ball skills and loved going off site to take part in cross country, which is great for their physical and mental well-being. 

In music the children have relished the songs for the Nativity performance and had to remember so many lyrics. We are also pleased to say several pupils have started piano with Miss Parlby and we look forward to hearing how they progress next year. The highlight of the half-term must be the Nativity, with all the children having speaking parts and some even singing solo! We are so proud of their performances, getting up in front of all those parents is an amazing achievement.

So, we take this opportunity to wish you all a wonderful and restful Christmas. See you in 2022! 

Mis South and Mrs Bowden