Autumn 1 2021
This half term we will be focusing on settling the children into FS2, learning the rules, routines and developing positive relationships. Each half term the children’s topic will be developed through their interests over the half term. This half term we are continuing with an interest the children were talking about in their provision areas in FS1 at the end of the summer term and in our transition activities. We are learning all about Minibeasts! Please see our Autumn 1 Newsletter for more details.
Introduction to RE at St Joseph’s
Over the last two weeks we have been introducing the children to our four daily prayers. As part of this the children have practiced making the sign of the cross and have started to learn the Makaton that we do alongside them. The children have done really well and have also started to learn and practice saying “Our Father”. Click the button below to go to the page on our website to learn these school prayers with your child.
This week, we have begun our RE learning journey all about God’s World. We started off by watching The Story of Creation so that the children could learn about how God made the world in 7 days. The children then thought carefully about what makes up God’s creation and even began to discuss how they would look after His world. Here is the video that we watched in class to learn about this story.
This week we continued to learn about the world that God created and what he did on each day. We shared a powerpoint together and made a list of all the things that God made. Over the next few week we will be encouraging the children to create God’s world and add their own pictures to talk about what God created, It would be lovely if you can share the creation story with your child at home and ask them to draw a picture of something special that God made. You can print of this creation wheel to help you…Creation Wheel
In our RE lesson this week we are thinking about how God shows us he loves us and people that we love. We will be sharing the book Guess how much I love you as part of our RE lesson. If you have the book at home, it would be great if you could read it together with someone in your family. If you don’t have the story, here is a version that you might like to listen too.
We would love to see pictures on Tapestry of people that you love, and ways that you can show love to others. As an extra challenge, can you tell us how you know that God loves you? We are looking forward to seeing you explore our RE learning challenge this week.
It has been lovely to see some of our children taking on our RE challenges at home and talking about what we have been learning in class with their families. Here are two of our children showcasing our RE at home. One them is reading his Bible and learning some other stories linked to Creation and helping us look after God’s World. The other picture is a fantastic creation of the Rosary using conkers! I am going to try re create the same one in our classroom next week- with some help from Reception pf course!
In our RE lesson this week are learning about how God made us all different, but we are all special to him. In class we will be reading two books to get the children to think about how God made us all different. If you would like to read the books at home, we have found the books online so you can share them again with your child. The children will be encouraged to share one of their talents with the class. We are looking forward to hearing about what makes them special. Here are the stories to help you consolidate our RE learning with your child at home…
10 Little Fingers and Ten Little toes
You are very special
In class, the children will be looking in a mirror and drawing themselves. Once they have drawn themselves they are going to tell us what their best talent is. If you would like to try this challenge at home too, we would love to see your child’s creations on Tapestry. You could also send us a picture of your child doing one of their talents that God gave them.
Today we had our RE listen to help us think about God, how he made us all and we are all special. The children listened really carefully to the story and they had some lovely responses to how God made us all, but we are all different.
We then moved onto thinking about special gifts that God gave us. We had a box in the middle of the carpet, a gift from God. The children had the opportunity to guess what was inside the box.
Here are some of the children’s ideas of what was in the box-
Elias- “A little ornament made of glass that is precious”
Felix- “A special teddy bear”
Sophie- ” Chocolate coins”
Krystian- ” A special present”
We then chose one person to open the box. Inside the box there was a mirror. The children then made the link that we are the special gift from God. We then all took turns to tell the mirror a special gift that God gave us. Here are some of the gifts that the children said God gave them.
Ralph- “My special gift is I am good at maths”
Jacob- “God gave me the gift of being kind and a good brother”
Penelope- “I have the gift of riding my scooter and bike really fast
We will be continuing to find out what the children think there special gifts are over the week. It would be great if you can ask them the same question too and see what they think their talents are.
We finished our RE learning journey today by thinking about different ways that we can look after God’s world and spread that message to our friends and family.
We made links back to the start of our RE learning journey about the world God created for us. We listened to a story about a Magpie who noticed that some humans were not looking after God’s world, and he thought of ways to stop people ruining God’s world.
After the story, we went on a walk around our school to look at the things God created, and to check that everyone is looking after the world God created.
We came back into the classroom, talked to our carpet buddies, and as class created a poster of all the ways we are going to look after God’s world and spread the message to our friends and family. The children shared some fantastic ideas about how we can look after God’s world. Here are some of the things that they said-
Recycle things and put the right things in a recycle bin– Krystian
Not waste any of my food– Frankie
Look after all God’s creatures– Francis
Pick up rubbish and put other people’s rubbish in the bin– Martha
Don’t put rubbish on the floor or river as animals might get stuck in it– Sophie
Here is a lesson in action, and our walk around school to look at what God created and ways in which children and adults at St Joseph’s are helping to look after God’s world.
This week we have started to introduce the children to our statement of the week and how we can follow the statement in our daily lives. We have also continue to learn our daily prayers and the importance of making the sign of the cross.
Over the next few weeks we will be listening to and learning a few songs linked to creation. We are going to start with All things Bright and Beautiful. If you would like to sing the song at home with your child too, here is the song we will be singing…
During our collective worship this week we are making links to our RE learning journey and singing a song together. Here is the song that we will be sharing if you want to sing it at home too. We have really enjoyed ending the day with a song so we hope you enjoy sharing the song a home too.
We will also be starting to think about Harvest with the children and how we can help people in our community that need extra food, warmth and shelter. We will be looking at ways that we can make a small difference to other people. We will share the CAFOD website with the children and talk about who CAFOD are and how they help people in our community and around the world. As a family maybe you could have a family fast day to help think about all the people that dedicate their lives to looking after God’s creation. If you would like to share any ideas that your child has about how they can help their community we would to hear about them on Tapestry. We could even try and take on some of the children’s ideas as part of our collective worship this year. Please share your ideas with us on Tapestry.CAFOD- What can you do this harvest?
Please share this CAFOD harvest prayer with your child and ask your child about the things God created, which links to our RE topic this half term.
Week 6 collective worship
This week in our collective worship we are continuing to learn about the harvest and making links to how we can help others in God’s family. We will be singing a few harvest songs in our classroom collective worship to help us learn about the importance of harvest. Some of the songs are very catchy! You could try singing some at home too. We would love to see videos’ of the songs in action at home on Tapestry!
October- Month of the Rosary
During our collective worship this week we have changed our prayer table together for the month of the Rosary. We talked about the different color cloths we use on our altar. Some of the children knew that the blue cloth is the same as what Mary wears. We talked about who Mary is and why she is important to us. During October, we will be sharing a few activities to teach the children about the Rosary. We have attached a few activities below that you might like to share with your child at home.How to pray the Rosary Hail Mary Month of the Rosary stained glass window activity
To start off our English learning journey, we have used the text ‘Superworm’. The children have loved reading this story and enjoy joining in to the repeating chants from the minibeasts in this story. The children have begun their learning journey in this subject by describing the different characters. Here are just some of the fantastic descriptions that the children have made:
‘So big and peach colour. He wiggles and eats leaves.’ Sophie describing Superworm.
‘Black, eight legs and can lift heavy things! Aaron describing the ant.
‘Sharp! Thomas’s description of the crows claws.
‘Has a shell, he eats leaves and is slimy.’ Elias describing the snail.
‘Strong.’ Cian describing the beak on the crow.
Our next class text has been Spinderella by Julia Donaldson. The children were very excited about this class text and it did not disappoint! The children particularly enjoyed the ‘Hairy Godmother’ part too.
We started this part of our learning journey by reading the text together. We enjoyed repeating words, predicting who characters are in the pictures and also using these important prediction skills to consider what might happen.
After reading the story, we worked as a class to sequence it. We talked about what happened at the beginning, middle and end and had to think very carefully about this!
Week 6 and 7- What the Ladybird heard
Over the next two weeks our Literacy lessons will be linked to the story What the Ladybird Heard. We started our lesson today by predicting what we thought might happen in the story and what animals lived on the farm, We discussed the blurb, and why the blurb is important to help us find out what the book is about. Some children then went off into the provision areas and drew an animal they think lived on the farm. We were amazed by some of the animals. We asked the children to tell us what the initial sound was for the animals names. They did a great job and even persevered to write the letters. A great start to out Literacy this week FS2!
We ended our Literacy learning journey today by retelling the story What the Ladybird Heard using masks. The children had fantastic understanding of what happened in the story and enjoyed taking on the roles of different characters from the story. The children have added this challenge to our role play area, and they can take on the role of the characters and change the ending to the story! Here are a few of our children in action down on the farm…
This week the children have begun their phonics learning journey. They have worked so hard and really got into the routine of phonics and how we learn sounds. We have been very impressed by their effort and resilience in phonics! A great start to their phonics learning journey!
Week 4 Phonics
If you would like to listen to the sounds that we have been learning in class this week please watch these Mr Thorne Videos with your child. You could also try and go on a sound hunt around your house too and out on your adventures over the weekend. Please share any of your phonic work with us on Tapestry! We love to see what you have been up too!
Week 5 phonics
This week in phonics we will revisit the sounds we learnt last week and we will be learning a few more too. We will be teaching the children to build simple CVC words with the sounds we have learnt. We hope you can try and build a few words with your child at home too. It would be great if you can also your child to start spotting some of the sounds we are learning in books you share together and in the environment around them! Here are the sounds we will be adding to our phonic journey this week…
As part of our phonic challenge today, we went on a sound hunt to the playground and the woods. The children were looking for objects starting with on of the initial sounds we have learnt so far. The children found a square, spider. mushroom, millipede, snake ( not real) , stick, ant and insect to name just a few. We also gave the children the opportunity to mark make in the soil with large sticks some of the letters we have learnt. Here a few pictures of us in action in our sound hunt today.
It was lovely to see some of children taking on our Autumn challenge and brought in some resources that represented Autumn. Lots of conkers were brought in today! We set up a challenge to see if the children could make some of new letter sounds out of conkers! They rose to the challenge! We are looking forward to seeing some more letters formed over the week out of all things Autumn!
Check out one of our Reception superstars, applying their phonic skills at home this week! We are so proud of you- and fantastic letter formation too!
Week 6 Phonics
This week in our phonics lessons our focus sounds will be n, o and p. We will be reading and writing CVC ( constant, vowel, constant) words with these sounds in. It has been lovely to see some of you reading and writing CVC words at home, and we hope you can do the same this week with our new letter sounds. If you would like to hear the sounds and some words using our new sounds, please join in with Mr Thorne. We wonder if you can find anything in your house beginning with n, o and p?
We loved seeing Emilie learning her alphabet at home using conkers. What a great idea! I wonder if anyone else can take on this challenge and let us know how many conkers they need to complete the challenge!
After our phonics lesson today, it was lovely to see some of children taking on the role of the teacher and creating words on one of our flip charts with the sounds we have learnt so far. They even said say the sound, write the letter!
Week 7 Phonics
This week in our phonics lessons our focus sounds will be b, c, g and h We will be reading and writing CVC ( constant, vowel, constant) words with these sounds in. It has been lovely to see some of you reading and writing CVC words at home, and we hope you can do the same this week with our new letter sounds. If you would like to hear the sounds and some words using our new sounds, please join in with Mr Thorne. We wonder if you can find anything in your house beginning with b, c, g and h?
Tricky words (Sight words)
In our phonics lessons we have also started to read and write some tricky words. These are words that children need to be able to read and remember, and they cant be segmented and blended back together. If you would like to see some of the sight words that we will be learning over the next few weeks, please share this video with your children. It takes time to learn sight words, so try and encourage your child to spot them in books you read together and in print in the environment around them. You could also get your child to write the sight words in shaving foam, sand, with a paint brush and water, chalk or make them out of play doh. We would love to see how creative you can get with learning your tricky words! Send pictures to us on Tapestry!
Here is a copy of some of the words we will be exploring if you would like to support your child at home too-First set of Sight words- HFW for Reception
Week 6 Tricky words
This week in class we will be focusing on the tricky words Is and a. We would love you to try reading these words at home, spot them in your environment and write them in different media.
Week 7 Tricky words
This week in class we will be focusing on the tricky words the and I. We would love you to try reading these words at home, spot them in your environment and write them in different media.
In class we haven’t started our formal maths lessons yet, but the children have been taking on some of our maths challenges in the provision areas! We have had some great number matching and in the FS2 garden two of our children re created snakes and ladders with chalk! We found a dice and had a go at playing their game of snakes and ladders!
In maths this week we are going to be starting more formal lessons as a whole class on the carpet. We will be doing lots of counting together and we are also going to learn how to subitise groups of objects. Subitising is a an important skill that children need to learn as part of their maths learning journey. The children are taught to use their eyes when subitising and not any counting techniques they have already learnt. We will be teaching children to subitise with objects up 5 this week. The children will look at a group of objects ( this week it is spiders linked to our Spinderella text) and guess how many spiders are in the group without counting. You could try and do the same challenge with groups of objects at home to get your children masters of subitising. If you take on this challenge we would love to see on Tapestry!
Check out one of our favorite Maths stars Jack Hartmann on subitising to 5!
You could also print of these Autumn resources and have a go at subitising to 5 with your child at home-Subitising to 5 challenge 1 Subitising to 5 challenge 2
We were blown away by the children’s counting and subitising in our maths lesson today. We have had lots of children taking on the maths challenge already today! Lots of superstar mathematicians in Reception!
In the garden today, the children continued to enjoy a game of What time is Mr Wolf. They did some great counting and accurate steps! It is a firm favorite game in FS2 right now!
Personal, Social and Emotional Development (PSED)
Learning new rules and routines
We have been focusing on our new class rules. In Foundation Stage 2, we try to think of Mr Potatohead when we think about the rules. Here is our class display to show what the rules are.
Over the last few weeks, we have used the worry monster to share our worries. We have learnt that often our worries are shared by others and that by telling someone we trust about them we can feel better. Once we have shared our worries our worry monster has eaten them all up and now keeps them safe for us. As often as the children like but at least once a week we review our worries and see if we have any more that we would like to share and ask the worry monster to keep safe for us.
In FS2, we have our special board where we celebrate the children’s hard work and behaviour in class. The children all start at ‘Ready’ each day and aim for lift off for their excellent learning. Of course, if the children need a little more encouragement to focus on their learning or behaviour they can go down on the chart too but there is ALWAYS an opportunity to go back up again!
World Car Free Day
This Wednesday, it was World Car Free Day. Lots of children in our class used this as an opportunity to walk/scoot/bike to school that day. As a class, we discussed how sometimes we could walk instead of going in the car. We talked about how some journeys a car is needed but if we are going to somewhere not too far away, walking can be a great option to help look after God’s world. This is the start of our learning journey about how to ‘Live Simply’. For more information about what ‘Live Simply’ is, please click the link below to go to this page on our school website.
When discussing looking after His world, we also thought of different ways that we could ‘Live Simply’ in our daily lives. We talked about recycling, switching off light switches and switching off the tap whilst we are brushing our teeth. We even pretended to brush our teeth so that we could know when we should turn on and off the tap. The children were brilliant at this!
The Colour Monster
In class we have begun to discuss our feelings. This is the just the start of their learning journey for self regulation in FS2. We have used the text ‘The Colour Monster’ to help the children to begin to use different vocabulary around their feelings and to begin to understand what these feelings might look/feel like. As you can see from the images below, different colours represent different emotions.
These colour monsters are going to be displayed in our classroom for the children to begin their own check ins so that they can talk about their own feelings throughout the day.
FS2 enjoyed Wellbeing Week where we had a focus on physical wellbeing, emotional wellbeing and mental health.. We enjoyed 5 themes across the week: Be Kind, Take Notice, Be Active, Try Something New and Feel Good Friday.
We had a big focus in class about being kind. We started by sharing a story called ‘Have you filled a bucket today?’ Then as a class we thought about ideas in how we can fill a bucket of kindness. We then made our own kindness bucket in class, and the children have enjoyed sharing kindness to others and adding a ball whenever they have filled someone else’s imaginary bucket. If you would like to share the story at home, here is a version of it-
We also tried something new in class this week. We decided to venture out to our school adventure playground. This meant the children had to be really brave… and they loved it!!
Adventure playground pictures coming soon…
We also enjoyed trying out some dancing and singing on Feel Good Friday! We switched on some songs and just had a boogie! We also learnt about how smiling can really make a difference as to how we feel. The children gave each other big smiles and loved how it made them feel!
Left and Right
We have been learning all about our lefts and rights in PE. The children have been following instructions really carefully to learn which is which. They are making good progress with this! The children also used this new understanding when developing their skills at rolling a ball. We have even been singing ‘The Hokey Cokey’ to really work on their new understanding. That was probably their favourite part!
We have started our daily ‘Dough Disco’ in school! Dough Disco is used as a fun way to support the children with their fine motor skills. It is a combination of the use of play dough with hand and finger exercises to help the children to improve fine motor control. The children really enjoy this part of their day and have shown great listening and effort to try and copy the video. Have a look at the video we regularly use in school. It would be great to do this at home to continue this area of their learning.
The children were set a challenge as part of our dough disco to make a thief from the story What the Ladybird Heard that is our Literacy focus this week. Here are some of their creations…
Exploring Our Outdoor Provision
In our FS2 garden this week we have been using our gross motor skills to explore our climbing equipment. As a team we also created a pirate ship out of crates and carefully climbed around the ship ensuing we didn’t get eaten by crocodiles. Here we are in action in our FS2 garden…
In our garden today we had a challenge to see who could jump the highest off some of our climbing equipment. The children then counted to 3 and tried to jump off at the same time! I was lovely to see the children smiling and enjoying making new friendships.
Fine Motor Skills
In class we have been encouraging children to try a selection of fine motor activities. We have an areas set up in our provision areas that is dedicated to learning fine motor skills. This week we have been encouraging children to pick up pom poms and put them on a spider.
We love that one of children decided to take on a fine motor challenge with some of his Autumn resources at home to make his own spider linked to our Spinderella story! We hope you love Krystian’s spider conker as much as we do!
It was lovely to see two of our children working hard at their scissor skills in our provision area. One of them created a house using a triangle and carefully cut around the edges and then drew the house. We then had another one of our children creating a tree. He cut out his leaves carefully, and accurately with his scissors.
Expressive Arts and Design
Exploring media and materials in provision
The children have really enjoyed their provision so far. They have been busy colouring, making bugs and habitats our of materials and they have really enjoying mixing colours and painting.
The children have really enjoyed exploring their new music area! We have had lots of wonderful performances of familiar songs played alongside instruments. The children have really enjoyed learning ‘Incy Wincy Spider’ which is linked to our class topic of minibeasts.
One of our children retold some nursery rhymes in our music area. We challenged him to add a beat to his music and he rose to the challenge!
Art and Design
Over the past two weeks lots of children have chosen to take on one of our rainbow challenges using paint. We have had some wonderful caterpillars created with mixing colours and matching colours to create a caterpillar. This week the challenge is to mix colours, talk about their choice of colours and create a butterfly. We have had some wonderful butterfly creations so far this week. Here are a few to showcase with you…
Some children have also taken on the challenge to create a minibeast out of match sticks using some of their fine motor skills. We think they did a great job!
This weeks challenge is to create a new spider for Spinderella’s football team. We shared pictures of spiders as a class and the children were then set the challenge of mixing colours to paint their own spider. We have had some colourful creations already!
One of the children’s favorite places to go is the mud kitchen! We love getting messy in FS2 and we have had some wonderful cakes made in our FS2 mud kitchen. This week, one of our children found a worm. They said the worm must be super worrm so lets make him a cake! What a great idea! Superworm deserves a cake after all his adventures!! Here are some action pictures of the children learning in the mud kitchen!
In the construction area, the children have been encouraged to talk about what they want to build, draw it out then create their model. We are working on our skills of plan, do and review as we go through FS2. Over the past few weeks the children have been challenged to build a house for a minibeast and then a maze for Superworm to travel through. We have had some detailed designs and models built using bricks and Lego. Here are a few of our completed challenges.
This week we have already had children taking on our Construction challenge. The children have been set the challenge of creating a new football pitch for Spinderella. We talked about the design and the children then worked together to create a super football pitch! We like the added ball and grass too!
We have been observing the children in their play over the past few weeks. We have seen a few children taking on the role of pirates and creating a pirate ships alongside our minibeasts theme. We decide to capture this learning and set a mini challenge for a few children to create a treasure map and a pirate ship linked to the Pirate Next door story that we read as a group. The children were engrossed in this story and we had some fantastic learning that took place after. The children made treasure maps, a message was sent in a bottle, a gigantic pirate ship was built out of crates and a boat made out of recycled materials that the children tested to see if it floated! It was lovely to see the children sharing this interest and some wonderful vocabulary been used.
We have enjoyed some more pirate action today! Some of the children created maps, messages in a bottle and also a new pirate ship! It was lovely to see the children working as a team and problem solving together. Pirates are definitely taking over in Reception!
We have started to create a home corner in our classroom. Today in the home corner, Mrs Hemming role played the story of Goldilocks and the Three bears. The children then set up a tea party for the Three bears and we had some wonderful cooking and role play taking place. Here are a few pictures of the children enjoying our class home corner.
Understanding the World
Minibeast Hunting in the woods
This week, the children have been exploring the woods to search for minibeasts. The children did a great job at finding them! We found a centipede, caterpillar, ant, spider and lots of slugs. Some of the children drew a picture of the the minibeasts they found and built a house to keep them safe. We will continue to build on our minibeast houses next week in the woods.
In class today we looked at a selection of minibeasts on the IWB. We talked about the different habitats the minibeasts live in and why they choose these habitats. We even got onto a discussion about the colours of some minibeasts and what the word camouflaged means. We took our leaning outside and searched for minibeast habitats. We found a spider spinning a web, a beautiful butterfly on our decking and lots of ladybirds! Some children even found a few ants and had a go at drawing them! The children were then set a challenge to make an ant out of play dough during our dough disco session!
Today we went back to the woods to look for different minibeast habitats. We looked at pictures and watched a few videos of minibeasts before we set of to the woods. We took some magnifying glasses, minibeast identification sheets, pictures of minibeasts and paper to draw the minibeasts we saw. The children discovered that some minibeasts like worms, millipedes and woodlice like it under rocks where is dark and warm. We were really impressed with the children’s curiosity about minibeasts and their excitement to learn in the woods. We had a great afternoon and hopefully the children will continue to hunt for minibeasts’ on their adventures outside of school. I have set them a challenge to hunt for spiders linked to our class text Spinderella over the next few weeks. We are looking forward to spider pictures on Tapestry over the next few days!
As part of our learning about looking after our world, we welcomed some very special visitors into our Nursery garden. Mrs Kelly brought Lucky the goat and Kinder and Angel chickens to come meet the children. The children found out where the animals live and we thought about how we have to care for the animals. The children had a stroke of the animals too and were even lucky enough to see Lucky the goat dance A big thank you to Mrs Kelly for this fabulous opportunity. The children all really enjoyed meeting the animals.
Signs of Autumn
We are enjoying seeing lots of your pictures on Tapestry of the objects you see in your environment that show Autumn is here. Here are a few from the weekend to share with you. Can you see what colors the leaves are turning into?
Creating a Volcano
In the garden today there was some lovely turn taking to create a volcano. Krystian described what a volcano was in detail. He told his friends that Volcanos have Lava, rocks and Magma that expload from the top. Here are some pictures of the children using their fine and gross motor skills to create a Volcano! I wonder if anyone in FS2 can create an exploading volcano at home?