Welcome to the Foundation Stage. Within our unit we have FS1 and FS2 children who work together as a partnership in a stimulating, friendly and welcoming environment. Our FS1 staff (Miss Scargill, Miss Lattimore and Miss Spivey) work together to nurture the youngest of our children at this crucial time of the year. Alongside this team we have Mrs Everitt, Mrs Campbell and Mrs Woodward who teach the FS2 children.
“Children learn as they play. Most importantly, in play children learn how to learn.”
Well, what an wonderful start to the year we have had so far. It has been amazing to see how well the children have settled into the school routine and how they take changes in their stride. We welcomed a new intake of children into our class in January and it is like they have always been here (we also look forward to our next intake after the Easter break).
As always, we have focused on developing the children's Personal, Social and Emotional Development, Physical Development and Communication and Language skills during the Autumn term, alongside the rest of the curriculum. If you follow our school Twitter feed (@Gilberdykerocks) you will see how well the children are doing and what activities they take part in on a weekly basis.
We do our utmost to ensure that the routine for your child remains stable as we know how important it is for children to feel settled in order to feel safe. With this in mind, as our new children enter the setting the routine will not change.
We aim to establish routines quickly to ensure that child feel secure and settled within their environment. Children take part in a Personal, Social and Emotional Development activity at the beginning of the day which is followed by child initiated learning through play hereafter. Adult support is given where necessary in children's play to enable their learning to develop.
When children enter school, they are supported to find their name and place it on our 'feelings chart' (happy or sad). We are working hard to help children to recognise the feelings of happy and sad and the reasons for this. Staff then ensure that they follow up with any child that may feel unhappy/sad. As the year progresses we will look at other feelings, whilst always holding in mind that some children find the differentiation between feelings hard.
Children are given one piece of fresh fruit or vegetable each day alongside milk or water. The children are already beginning to access this independently and can say which fruits they like or dislike with confidence. If your child brings a water bottle to school please could you ensure that it contains only water.
We have an open door to the outside where the children are greeted with an amazingly spacious outdoor area. All children can access the outside learning environment as and when they would like to do so. Staff encourage outdoor learning as a reflection of the children's indoor learning.
Staff are supporting children at this time of the year to develop their independence skills - putting on and fastening coats, changing between shoes and wellies, accessing the toilet and washing hands by themselves. Allowing children to do this at home supports the children's learning in school too.
We are so lucky to have new families and siblings join the Gilberdyke Community - with this comes a larger FS1 family! Our children attend school in a variety of ways and are therefore able to form different friendships and friendship groups depending on the session they are here. This enables our children to use their PSED, speaking and listening, and communication skills in a variety of ways.
Champions in Learning
We have new Champions coming to light every single day. Just today we have seen one child learn to write the first letter in their name! It is amazing to see the progress in such a short space of time. The pride shown in each child's face as they achieve a new goal is just wonderful. Keep it up FS1!
Talk for Writing
We have introduced Talk for Writing with our children. So far we have learned to orally retell the story of The Gingerbread Man and The Three Little Pigs. Next half term we will be learning more traditional tales - the children love them and we can definitely see the impact this is having on the children's language in role and when reading/creating their own stories.
Language In Colour
FS1 children have also been taking part in Language in Colour sessions where they have been learning to identify 'who' and 'what doing' words. If your child starts to talk in 'chopped up sentences' (eg. man dancing, cow jumping) at home, don't worry, this is just a step we are taking in helping them to name and group types of words.
Welcome to 2018! We are so excited about this year, encouraging your children to grow and learn within our school community. It has been lovely to speak to so many parents during the Autumn term and I hope this will continue throughout the year, we try to encourage your input and questions. Our door is always open for you to speak to us before and after school so please if you have any queries come and ask our friendly team.
There will be a slight change to the teaching structure this term. Mrs Everitt will now be working 4 days a week and will be teaching F2E/C on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. She will be in KS1 on Tuesdays, but will also be in and out of the Foundation Unit. Mrs Campbell will now teach F2E/C on Tuesdays and Fridays.
P.E will continue to take part weekly, on Friday mornings. We will start to get changed for P.E in February so please could we ask that you send a P.E kit in for your child as soon as is possible. All children will require their P.E kit in school weekly please (black shorts and a white T-Shirt in a named bag. (No carrier bags please.) We encourage parents to leave the PE kit in school for the duration of the term and then take it home for washing during the holidays.
Stay and Read
This is a fantastic opportunity for parents to be involved with their children, within the Foundation unit. After careful consideration we have decided to change this to every Thursday morning, for the Spring term. This is to help engage those parents who were unable to attend on a Wednesday, you are very welcome to join us between 8.45 and 9.00am to read with your child.
When the children first come into school in a morning, they put their names on a 'feelings chart'. This allows us to quickly identify any children who have not come into school feeling happy and address this immediately. Your child's well-being is our priority and they need to feel happy, safe and secure before they are ready to learn. We also have a 'circle' at the beginning and end of every day where we have the opportunity to share our feelings, thoughts and ideas.
The children have started going to some assemblies and we are super proud of how well they sit and listen. They are very excited about the start of the 'Celebration Assemblies' and to be able to show off their work to you all throughout the year.
The children are really impressing us with their phonic knowledge and how they are applying their knowledge in their reading and writing. This half-term, we will continue to have daily, focused phonic sessions which take place in small groups. The children will then have the opportunity to practise and apply their phonic knowledge in the Continuous Provision. We are continuing to teach new sounds and tricky words weekly and will be progressing to being able to read and write sentences using these new sounds and words. We will continue to change reading books on a Wednesday and we recommend that you listen to your child read their book at least 3 times per week. Little and often work best so you do not have to read the whole book every time. Please can we ask that you sign your child’s reading record when they have read at home as we do reward the children in school with House Points.
Talk for Writing
We will be teaching Literacy through ‘Talk for
Writing’. This entails immersing the children in a text and getting them to learn the text through retelling, putting actions to the text and story mapping it. This will familiarise the children with story structures and language so that they can use their phonic knowledge to write their own story openings and parts of stories. These texts will then also lead into non-fiction writing based on the text, such as writing instructions. The texts that we will be focusing on this half term are: The Three Little Pigs, Cinderella and The Gingerbread Man.
Characteristics of Effective Learning
The following characteristics underpin everything that we do in the classroom:
Playing and exploring - engagement
Active learning - motivation
Creating and thinking critically - thinking
We will be linking these characteristics to stories and this half term we will be focusing on 'The Very Hungry Caterpillar' (encouraging the children to try new things), 'We're Going on a Bear Hunt' (encouraging the children to find out and explore) and 'Elmer' ( encouraging the children to pretend and play with what they know).
This half-term we will be focusing on number
recognition, counting and sequencing to 20, one more and one less than a number to 20 and
addition and subtraction. We will also be using mathematical language for 2D and 3D shapes and using everyday language related to money. We will then be learning how to apply our knowledge to solve puzzles and problems.