Spring Term 2024

A warm welcome to the Spring Term in Catkin Class.  We hope you and your families have enjoyed a happy, healthy and magical Christmas break.

Our class topic this half term will be 'Amazing Animals.’ This topic will offer a wealth of opportunities for the children to learn about different habitats and the creatures that live in them, life cycles, animal offspring and animal care. There will be opportunities to engage in child interest led topics including Mini Beasts.  We will encounter both fiction and non-fiction texts this term as we begin to ask and answer questions about the world around us.

For more information about the learning intentions for this topic and how they link to the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum, please take a look at the ‘Amazing Animals Topic Web’ available to download on this webpage.

Phonics Shed

This term we will be continuing with our daily Phonics Shed sessions. So far this year the children have all made great progress learning all of their single letter sounds and an initial set of diagraphs.  They have particularly enjoyed learning all the characters names, joining in with the songs and learning the actions for each letter.

We will be focusing this half term on completing Chapter 2 of the scheme.  This will include learning the double letter diagraphs, for example  ‘ff’, ‘ll’ and ‘ss’.   The children will be learning the corresponding phonemes and graphemes to these sounds and how to write them. The children will also continue to work through the initial set of high frequency words.  More information regarding the Phonics Shed scheme is available on the Curriculum tab under Phonics at Slindon.

Home Reading

Your child’s home reading books are linked to the sounds they are working on in their phonics lessons.  Home reading is therefore a great opportunity for you to practice these sounds at home with your child.   We would recommend that you take time to read with your child daily to support with fluency.  Please sign your child’s reading record after each read to indicate that your child has read with you at home.

In school we will aim to read with your child individually at least twice a week. We would therefore ask that your child brings their book bag along with their reading book and reading record to school every day.  We will change your child’s book every Tuesday and Friday

You may notice a red heart sticker on some of the reading books that your child brings home.  These have been added to books to indicate to the children that they may not be fully phonetically decodable at the child’s current reading level.  Please be assured the children are free to choose one of these texts which we refer to in school as ‘Love for reading books’.  If your child brings one of these books home they may just require a little extra support to decode some of the text.  These books are ideal for parent / carers to share together to promote a love for reading!

PE Lessons

Our PE lessons will continue to be on a Tuesday afternoons led by the Premier Sport coaches.  We would therefore request that your child arrives dressed appropriately for PE every Tuesday.  This includes ensuring that long hair is tied back and any earrings are removed or taped over.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to catch me on the playground at the end of the school day.

Forest Fridays

We will be continuing with our ‘Forest Fridays’ throughout the spring term.   This is an opportunity for the children to spend every Friday morning in the woods adjacent to the school. We will be visiting the forest regardless of the weather, so all children should come to school appropriately dressed for the weather conditions - trousers (such as joggers) a long sleeve top, a jumper, a hat, gloves and a scarf. We can provide waterproofs and wellies if needed.

We will need a minimum of one parent volunteer each week for the visit to go ahead.  If you are available and would like to help, please contact the school office for more information.

With best wishes,

Mrs Emmajane Merrett [Class Teacher]