Journeys – our new topic

Hi all

After a very busy Christmas period during which your fantastic children led an amazing Christmas Play by learning all their words, we’ve now been back a couple of weeks and are settling back into school life.

Our new topic is Journeys, a geography based theme when we look at our local area, the Isle of Wight and where the Island is in comparison to the UK. Later we then study a different country [don’t tell anyone -it will be Australia] and compare it to the Island. We are organising a local walk to Northwood Church to hear from Rev Amanda who will tell us how Christians worship and what goes on at a church in RE. We are looking at materials in science – what things are made of, and why. We’ve had a great time printing in Art using fingers and thumbs, turning them into little faces and using vegetables and fruit. Potatoes are great for this but any old fruit or veg is fine e.g. cut carrots length-ways. Buy a bag of cheap potatoes, cut them [adults only] in half and cut out the shapes you need – triangles, squares, letters, and so on. Get your paint ready, dip in the paint or brush it on and start printing. Your children’s art is currently on display. Here’s quite a good website for more ideas

Thank you for all your support with your child’s reading and spellings at home. It is a critical part of their learning. When going through my teacher training year [ten years ago], my mentor gave me a super picture to hold in my head regarding a child’s learning. It was a triangle with its three corners. At one corner is your child. Another corner is the teacher and the third corner is ‘home’, the parents. The logic goes that the stronger the relationship around this triangle is – child-home-teacher– the better the child will do at school, growing in confidence. It’s been a pretty powerful image for me and I hope you might find it helpful too. The English language is full of very awkward spelling patterns and rules and as with anything else, little and often works well. We teach and learn our spellings every day from spelling patterns [e.g. words that end in ay] or high-frequency words [those we meet a lot in our reading books]. Regular reading at home – at least 3 times a week – is a real help as children get to practice what they have learned at school. Finally on homework, government guidance is this should be about 1 hour a week for KS1. This works out quite reasonably about 10mins a night, not 1 hour on Thursday! Routines used by parents include alternating reading and spelling across the week.

Your children are really growing in confidence with their maths. We are preparing an open evening soon on maths and plan to share Year 2 activities and expectations.  One of the biggest help for maths at home is working on telling the time – o’clock, half-past, quarter-to and quarter-past. We can also count the minutes in 5s. Many thanks for all your help in the mornings too when your child are doing maths in their Morning Book. Obviously if they can do it independently, that’s even better.

Many thanks

Mr Bryant





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