Holly Class News – End of Term 5
We have had a very busy but extremely enjoyable term. Our topic for Term 5 was ‘Minibeasts’. We started the term by introducing our very own class caterpillars and exploring the butterfly life cycle. We closely observed our caterpillars eat, poo and grow before they made themselves a chrysalis. You might like to ask your child what the scientific name for caterpillar poo is… The children were amazed when the butterflies emerged from their chrysalides. They spent long periods of time observing the butterflies in their butterfly house. After a precious couple of days observing our butterflies we let them go during one of our Forest School lessons.
In Phonics, we are making impressive progress with our Set 2 sounds. We have continued to learn new red words, in addition to the red words we have already learnt, we have now also learnt the following red words; into, do, want, be, we, he’s. Please continue to practise our sounds, red words and reading with us at home! Furthermore, we have started to learn letter names as well as the sounds they make. So far, we have learnt letter names from A-K. We have continued to practise ‘hold a sentence’ activities and even began writing some sentences that we have thought of independently.
In Literacy, we have completed various activities based around our topic. To start the term, we wrote about the butterfly life cycle. Then we read a book called ‘The Bog Baby’ and the children recalled and wrote some facts about Bog Babies. We have also completed many independent challenges, such as; writing names of minibeasts, writing sentences about our caterpillars/chrysalides/butterflies and writing sentences about our school trip.
In Maths, we have consolidated counting to 20 and backwards from 20. We have now begun counting beyond 20, trying to recognise the pattern of the counting system. Similarly, we have continued to consolidate 2D shape names and properties. We have introduced some 3D shape names; such as, sphere, cube, cuboid, cone, cylinder and pyramid. Moreover, we have continued to practise our number bonds to 5 and 10 by completing various activities. In addition, we have worked on our subitising skills, explored odd and even numbers, discussed o’clock on clocks and focused on adding by counting on with concrete objects and pictorially. In computing, we have been using our new skills to complete pattern games.
In PE, we have thoroughly enjoyed our gymnastics topic. We have learnt basic gymnastic shapes, jumps and travelling movements, as well as, practising our balancing skills and jumping and landing skills using a spring board. You might like to ask your child to show you a ‘bunny hop’ or a ‘caterpillar walk’… Most excitingly, we used the big climbing frame in the hall for the first time!
In Art and Design, we started the term by creating our very own dolly peg butterfly or pom-pom caterpillar. To end the term, we created our very own Bog Baby. We used a wet felting technique to create the body of our Bog Baby and then practised our cutting skills to cut out a set of wings, feet and a tail. To finish our bog baby, we glued on his features and added boggly eyes. During Forest School, we made houses for our Bog Babies.
In Forest School, we have been busy making dens, identifying different trees and plants, leaf beating, cooking popcorn on the camp fire and observing our pond in the orchard. The children are super excited for the tadpoles to start forming their legs… we will keep you updated!
As if all of that wasn’t enough… we have also been exploring how to stay healthy. We discussed a healthy diet, regular exercise and the importance of good sleep. Additionally, we planted fruit and vegetables in our vegetable garden and have been closely observing the changes. Our radishes, carrots and strawberries are certainly looking promising! We also planted our own flowers, after discussing the basic parts of a plant and what a plant needs to grow, and we have been watering and observing the changes daily.
I would like to take this opportunity to say a big thank you to Dani from Midsomer Veterinary Centre for visiting us, with her dog Olive, and telling us all about her job as a Veterinary Nurse. The children got to scan Olive’s microchip, listen to her heart with a stethoscope and dress as a vet ready for theatre. At the end, they got to pet Olive to say goodbye!
Last but certainly not least, on Tuesday 17th May, Holly Class travelled to Chew Valley Animal Park. The children absolutely loved exploring the park, observing the animals and learning interesting facts about them! We got to feed camels, donkeys, ponies, pigs, goats and chickens and we got to cuddle goats, mice, guinea pigs, rabbits and rats! We also got to give some tortoises a bath (and a tickle!) and petted a skunk! The children were full of enthusiasm, they asked intriguing questions and learnt some interesting facts! It was safe to say, after such a busy day, we had some very tired children on the coach journey home! It was a truly amazing school trip and the children’s behaviour was exemplary. They all represented Longvernal fantastically!
I can’t believe we only have one more term in Holly Class. I don’t know where the time as gone but we have certainly had lots of fun! I hope you all have a lovely half-term.
We had an excellent start to the term as our first week back was ‘Book Week’. Throughout the week we completed various activities to promote and expand our love for reading. We enjoyed a special story time with Miss Leyman, designed our own front covers for the story ‘Room on the Broom’, made our own bookworm bookmarks and dressed up as our favourite book character for World Book Day. Furthermore, we visited our local library in Midsomer Norton, completed a workshop with The Natural Theatre Company and enjoyed a ‘reading buddies’ session with Cherry Class. Best of all, we got to stay after school for ‘bedtime stories’, we listened to our favourite stories and drank hot chocolate!
When ‘Book Week’ ended, we began exploring our topic for the term which was ‘People Who Help Us’. We have had a fantastic time exploring this topic and we have learnt a lot about our community, job opportunities and how different people can help us. Throughout the term, we have been lucky enough to have lots of visitors in to teach us about their jobs. We would like to say a massive thank you to PCSO Paul Thatcher, Police Dog Handlers Tom and Harry, Adam from Dragonfly Leisure, Rachael who is a Nursery Nurse, Beth who is a Children’s Nurse and Laura who has worked as an Art Director in TV. Next term, we have Alex visiting to teach us about how he makes and repairs guitars and Danni visiting, with her dog Olive, to teach us about her role as a Veterinary Nurse.
In Phonics, we have now learnt all our Set 2 sounds. We have continued to learn new red words, in addition to the red words we have already learnt, we have now also learnt the following red words; all, I’ve, was, her, your, she, are, me. Please continue to practise our new sounds and red words at home with us – this is how we make the most progress! Furthermore, we have begun to complete ‘hold a sentence’ activities. I am continually amazed by the children’s progress! Next term, we will begin to look at capital letters and learn letter names.
In Literacy, we have based our writing around our ‘People Who Help Us’ topic. Firstly, we wrote lists of different people who can help us. More recently, we have been thinking about what we’d like to be when we grow up and why. The children loved writing about their future jobs and we have some aspiring nurses, doctors, farmers and dog trainers, to name just a few!
In Maths, we have continued to consolidate counting from 0-20 and we have begun to count backwards from 20-0. Please help us by practising this at home with us too! Similarly, we have continued to consolidate 2D shape names and properties and identifying numbers from 0-20. Next term, we will begin to explore and name 3D shapes. Moreover, we have explored height, length and pattern. Most impressively, we have begun exploring number bonds to 5 and number bonds to 10 using various concrete objects to support our learning.
In addition, we have continued to develop our personal, social and emotional knowledge. We have discussed how the words we choose to use can affect other people and talked about how everyone has an ‘invisible bucket’ that we need to try and fill rather than empty. We have also enjoyed participating in various personal hygiene and baby care activities.
In Forest School, we have continued to look at seasonal changes, spotting signs of spring and discussing the changes we have seen in our outdoor environment. Furthermore, we took cuttings from various trees and observed the changes in class, we were very excited when we saw some blossom! We have also completed activities such as; charcoal drawing, tree rubbing, den building and making bird feeders. In P.E., we have enjoyed six exciting lessons with a tennis coach called Ben.
In Art and Design, we have created Mother’s Day Cards and Easter Cards. We hope you liked them! In addition, we have discussed why we love our Mummy, what we enjoy doing with our Mummy and have participated in lots of fun Easter themed activities. We have also enjoyed our Music lessons this term, especially learning to sing and dance along to the ‘Hokey Cokey’! Additionally, we have enjoyed our computing lessons and programming Beebots.
As if all of that wasn’t enough, we have also been busy gardening this term. Firstly, we dug, weeded and raked the soil in our vegetable garden before sowing various seeds. We are eager to continue our gardening activities next term.
Next term, we are going on our first school trip to Chew Valley Animal Park. We are all very excited! Thank you to all the parents who have offered to join us for the day and join in on the fun.
It’s hard to believe that another term is over. I hope you all have a wonderful Easter Holiday and I look forward to more fun in Term 5.
Holly Class News – End of Term 3
We have had a very enjoyable third term in Holly Class. Throughout the term, we have been reading and exploring various traditional tales. We focused on three traditional tales in particular; The Three Little Pigs, Little Red Riding Hood and Goldilocks and the Three Bears.
In Phonics, we have started to learn some Set 2 sounds (ay, ee, igh, ow, oo and oo) as well as consolidating our Set 1 sounds. We have been focusing on blending CVCC words and simple words containing digraphs. We have also continued to learn new red words, in addition to the red words learnt in Term 2 we have now also learnt the following red words; you, no, said, to go, they, my, what. Please continue to practise at home with us!
In Literacy, we have based our learning around our three focus traditional tales. Firstly, we explored ‘The Three Little Pigs’, we retold the story and then added labels to a story map. Secondly, we read ‘Little Red Riding Hood’. After reading the story and discussing what Little Red Riding Hood had in her picnic basket, then we discussed what we could put in a picnic basket of our own. A firm favourite was jam sandwiches! Therefore, we wrote a set of instructions on how to make a jam sandwich. We then followed the instructions to make jam sandwiches of our own! Obviously, the best part was getting to eat the sandwich afterwards, yummy!! During the last two weeks of term, we have been exploring ‘Goldilocks and the Three Bears’. This topic began with an unexpected event as the children returned from their lunch break to find that someone had broken into our classroom and made a mess! They were determined to find who was responsible so they collected evidence and made predictions about who it could have been! We concluded, based on the evidence collected, that it must have been Goldilocks! The children were eager to find Goldilocks and after a class discussion, we decided that we could make WANTED posters and put them up around the school to try and find her. Additionally, we have been exploring non-fiction books about pigs, bears and wolves and have learnt some interesting facts!
In Maths, we have continued to practise counting from 0-10 and backwards from 10-0. We have also started counting from 0-20. In addition, we have continued to work on recalling the names of 2D shapes and we have started to discuss the properties of different shapes. Furthermore, we have continued to identify numbers from 0-10 and have begun to look at identifying numbers from 11-20. Meanwhile, we have been exploring new concepts such as comparing numbers, composition of numbers and combining numbers. We have used various resources such as; double sided counters, five frames, ten frames and part, part, whole models. Additionally, we have played games such as skittles and snakes and ladders to help consolidate our new learning.
Moreover, this term, we have continued to discuss our feelings and emotions and also discussed what we are good at, how we are different, how we have changed since birth and what we want to be when we are older. Additionally, we have discussed personal hygiene and, in particular, the importance of washing our hands. We have also continued to develop our fine motor skills by completing the following activities; making playdough pigs, cutting and sticking to make Little Red Riding Hood’s picnic basket and completing ‘Pegs to Paper’ activities.
In Art and Design, we have created houses for the three little pigs and created pig, bear or wolf portraits. We have also enjoyed music lessons where our focus has been to find the pulse in different songs.
In Science, we have been discussing and exploring materials, how they change and their similarities and differences. We conducted a water experiment overnight during freezing temperatures and the next morning we found that the water had frozen and had turned into ice! We had great fun breaking the ice and trying to melt it to turn it back to water again! Lastly, we conducted a floating and sinking experiment and the children made some brilliant predictions!
In Forest School, we have continued to look at seasonal changes, discussing changes to day length and the weather. We are excited to start spotting signs of spring soon! We have also made friendship bracelets, peeled carrots to prepare for whittling in later years, had a go at tree rubbing and created charcoal drawings. Most excitingly, we toasted marshmallows on the campfire and made s’mores which we were then allowed to eat. Yummy!
In P.E., we have enjoyed seven exciting lessons with a dance coach called Michelle. Michelle has been repeatedly impressed with our listening and dance skills and the children have thoroughly enjoyed the lessons. We also got to enjoy five additional P.E. lessons this term (tag rugby, frisbee, cheerleading, foot golf and athletics).
Finally, we learnt about Chinese New Year! The children learnt how Chinese New Year is celebrated and then had a go at completing some Chinese New Year themed activities such as; making a dragon, making a Chinese lantern and completing Chinese New Year themed colouring.
Next term, our topic will be ‘People Who Help Us’. We will be discussing the different types of jobs adults do as we talk about ‘people who help us’ and discuss ‘what I want to be when I grow up’. We would like to invite as many parents as possible into our classroom to discuss your jobs with the children. I will be contacting the police, ambulance and fire service to see if they have anyone who could come in and speak to us; however, we all know they are very busy so this may not be possible. Therefore, if you know of anyone else who is a police officer, firefighter, paramedic, doctor, nurse, vet, dentist etc. we would love to hear from them! I will be in touch, via letter, at the beginning of the term with further information if you’d like to come and talk to us about your job. The more, the merrier!
I can’t believe we are already half way through the year! I am forever proud of the progress the children continue to make. I am excited to continue our learning journey together in Term 4.
It has been another very busy but exciting term in Holly Class. This term our topic has been ‘Celebrations and Traditions’. Throughout the term we have learnt about Bonfire Night, Remembrance Day, Children in Need, Anti-Bullying Week and discussed Christmas traditions in England and around the world.
In Phonics, we have now learnt all the sounds in RWI Set 1 and we have additionally learnt the following digraphs; ck, ff, ll, ss and zz. We are applying our new phonic skills well and have shown impressive progress in blending and segmenting. We have also learnt the following red words; I, the, of, put, he, puts. It would be great if you could practise these at home with us too!
In Literacy, we have been focusing on the story of ‘Stick Man’ by Julia Donaldson. After reading and discussing the story several times we had a go at retelling and sequencing the story. We have also been focusing on blending and segmenting CVC words by playing oral blending games and making CVC words with conkers and Alphablocks. Most excitingly, we wrote our very own letter to Santa! Miss Nash was amazed by how well we applied our phonic skills.
In Maths, we have been focusing on counting forwards to and backwards from 10, naming 2D shapes and identifying numbers from 0-10. We have explored Number Blocks, five frames, ten frames and worked with various objects.
Furthermore, this term, we have continued to discuss our feelings, emotions, similarities, differences, likes, dislikes and uniqueness. We have also continued to develop our fine motor skills by completing the following activities; pencil skills sheets, using tweezers, colouring, playing with pop beads and Pegs-to-Paper resources, threading beads onto pipe cleaners, making playdough poppies, cutting out Stick Man’s body parts and sticking them down to create Stick Man, making paper chains and creating Reindeer Christmas hats for our school Christmas dinner.
In Art and Design, we have created firework pictures, poppies, our very own Stick Man, Christmas hats, Christmas pudding tree decorations and Christmas cards.
In Forest School, we have continued to look at seasonal changes, discussing changes to day length, the weather and what happens to trees during autumn/winter. We have also continued to play forest games, made autumn crowns, built dens and explored the forest area. Most excitingly, we had a go at using a bow saw and a hand drill to make our Christmas tree decoration!
In P.E., we have enjoyed seven exciting lessons with a football coach called Mr Phillips. Mr Phillips has been repeatedly impressed with our ball skills and how well we listen to and follow instructions. We have also continued to participate in Jump Start Jonny activities. Additionally, we enjoyed health and fitness week where we got to try various activities such as dance and tennis. Next term, we will be doing more dance with a dance coach during our PE lessons – exciting!
During the last two weeks of term we put on a FANTASTIC Nativity Play where Holly Class were beautiful angels! Although recording the nativity was never our original plan, we hope this will enable you to share the nativity with loved ones and keep it for years to come. We have also been busy creating Christmas cards and a Christmas pudding tree decoration. We hope that you love these as much as we do – we had lots of fun making them and the children were very keen to give them to you!
Lastly, I am sure the children will have told you, but on the last day of school we had a very special visit from Santa’s elves. After receiving the children’s hand written letters, Santa sent his elves to school to deliver a special letter in return! The children were extremely excited and utterly amazed by this!
I couldn’t possibly be any prouder of the children and the progress they have made since starting school. They are a credit to Longvernal. I can’t wait to learn even more with them all in Term 3. I hope you all have a magical Christmas and I will see you all in the New Year!
Holly Class News – End of Term 1
I cannot believe that we have already completed our first term in Holly Class. We have been having lots of fun exploring our indoor and outdoor learning environments and getting to know our peers and the adults in Holly Class.
As you know, our topic for Term 1 was ‘Marvellous Me!’. We have completed various activities in line with our topic; such as, discussing feelings and emotions, discussing our differences and how being different is ok, discussing our likes and dislikes, sharing family photos and discussing who is in our families, painting self-portraits, creating forest faces and baking biscuits and then decorating them with self-portraits.
This term, we have also been focusing on strengthening our fine and gross motor skills. For example, we have completed the following activities; dough disco, hammering golf tees, using pipettes to transfer coloured water into Duplo pieces, threading cheerios onto spaghetti, hole punching autumn leaves, cutting playdough with knives and forks, threading pasta onto string to make African-American Kwanzaa necklaces, hammering golf tees into pumpkins, using the play park and climbing apparatus, balance bikes, scooters, drawing with chalk and water painting.
In Phonics, we have been learning new sounds and we have begun to blend and segment CVC words. In Literacy, we have been focusing on our rhyming skills, creating and acting out our helicopter stories and identifying the initial sound in words. In Maths, we have been working on counting from 0-10, identifying numbers 0-5, engaging in matching, sorting and comparing activities, creating repeating patterns and naming 2D shapes. It would be great if you could continue to practise these skills at home with us too!
In PE, we have been learning a new game. You might like to ask your child to show you the action for the following commands; chip, sausage, baked bean, runner bean, spaghetti, popcorn and ice cube. We have also been focusing on our balancing skills and our ball skills. In Forest School, we have been exploring the forest area and learning the forest rules and boundaries. We have also participated in the forest school game ‘Bat and Moth’ and created Forest Faces.
Furthermore, we have learnt about and explored the Harvest Festival as well as engaging in activities to celebrate Black History Month. We watched videos about some famous black history figures such as Martin Luther King, Jr., Nelson Mandela and Katherine Johnson and read stories that explore different cultures; such as, Handa’s Surprise. After reading this story we explored some aspects of African culture and participated in activities; such as, identifying, describing and tasting fruit grown in Africa, making African Kwanzaa necklaces, creating collar necklaces and making African masks. We also listened to reggae music by Bob Marley and discussed Jamaica.
Finally, we have had great fun meeting and getting to know our Y6 buddies this term. We invited them into Holly Class and got to show them our favourite parts of our learning environment and then invited them back to read us a story. We have also enjoyed playing with them at lunchtimes.
I am so proud of how well the children have completed their first term in school and the progress that they have already made! I can’t wait to continue our learning journey in Term 2!
Welcome to Holly Class - September 2021
We have had a great start to the school year and everyone has settled in very well. We are enjoying getting to know our new routines and exploring our learning environment.
Our topic for Term 1 is 'Marvellous Me!', throughout the term we will learn lots about ourselves, our friends and our families. We have already begun by completing lots of exciting activities; such as, painting self-portraits, participating in circle times to get to know our new friends and sharing family photos.
So far this term we have been engaging in lots of activities to help strengthen our fine and gross motor skills and lots of activities to help develop our listening and attention skills. We have also been working on our independence when completing small tasks.
We will begin P.E. and Forest School lessons WB 20.09.21. Please send children to school in P.E. kit on Thursdays and clothes appropriate for Forest School on Mondays. The children are very excited to get started, as am I!
Overall, it has been a fantastic start to the year and we are excited to continue our learning journey.