Welcome back to a new school year. It has been such a joy to see the children come back into the school and bring some happiness into, what has been a difficult few months. It has been great to put names to faces in the class and for the children to share all their hopes and concerns for this new school session.
Over the last couple of weeks, we have had to put a fair amount of time into learning new school routines to ensure that we are all safe, protected and happy. The children, and staff, are gradually adapting to these, though it's a bit strange for us all.
For literacy lessons, the children now all have a reading book. As I am sure you will know from discussions with your children, reading books are not going home at the moment, to keep infection risk to a minimum. I will therefore ask the children to complete some activities at home, linked to their reading in class. This will give you a chance to ask them about the stories in more detail. I would encourage you to still try and hear your child reading regularly. They can read a book of their choosing from home, as well as reading articles from magazines and newspapers. Reading and follow-up comprehension tasks will take place in class.
The children have been writing about themselves, so I can get to know them better. This term, we will continue to focus on personal reflective writing about experiences, feelings and opinions. Lockdown has clearly been tricky for some children and many have found it difficult to concentrate for a longer period of time on writing without the one to one parental support which you have been so ably giving.
For this reason, in health and wellbeing, we will try to refocus on aspects of resiience and independence- having the opportunity to show responsibility, whilst working as part of a team and on their own.
In Numeracy work, as well as spending some time assessing where the children are in their learning, we have been working on place value, at different stages. Place value is all about calculatingthe value of each digit in a number. For example, the 5 in 350 represents 5 tens, or 50, however, the 5 in 5 006 represents 5 thousands, or 5,000. It is important that children understand that whilst a digit can be the same, its value depends on where it is in the number. The children have then been working to find eg 300 more than, 5000 less than etc. We will be working at this for a while, as well as trying to pick up speed with our number facts to help us speed up with addition and subtraction. Many of you will have used the Hit The Button program for times tables, but there is also a number facts section which is really useful if used daily for about 10 or 15 minutes daily. We will also be focussing on different aspects of telling the time.
Literacy, Numeracy and Health and Wellbeing are our main target teaching areas as we try to move forward through these tricky times. However, we will be visiting other curricular areas throughout the term. Our topic is The Ancient Egyptians and we will try to include aspects of art and drama and music to enhance this.
I am well aware that, as a parent, you will be concerned about your children's learning during these times. I just want to reassure you that I know that all of your children are individuals and unique, with their own set of needs and abilities. I will endeavour, as far as possible, to reassure your children in a nurturing way. If you have any concerns about your child, please feel free to get in touch with me through the school office.
I look forward to working with your children, and you, this school session.