Welcome to Kingsdown and Ringwould CofE School
Dear Parents and Carers,
We are very happy to welcome you to Tiny Tigers class. We are all very excited about getting to know you and your child and supporting them as they begin their learning journey at Kingsdown and Ringwould School. Please keep this letter in a safe place and refer to it throughout the year!
A few bits of information for you:
Partnerships – We believe that it is incredibly important to build a partnership with you and your child as soon as possible. It is through these strong partnerships that we can quickly gather information about your child’s interests, likes and dislikes and then use this information to tailor their learning experiences and next steps within the classroom. You will always be able to speak to a member of the Tiny Tiger team in the morning. We ask you to let us know anything which you feel will have a positive/negative effect on your child and their learning so we can fully support them each and every-day. I also try to be as available as possible after school but ask that this is booked in advance either through the office or by speaking to the member of staff on the gate in the morning.
Tiny Tiger News - We love to hear about your child’s achievements at home too. If your child has amazed you with their excellent learning at home or at an out of school club then please let us know. Your child will get to share their achievements with their whole class before the news slip is displayed in the classroom. Please look out for Tiny Tiger News slips in your child’s book bag and please ask if you need any more.
Milk/Snack-time – Your child will be offered fruit each morning as part of a snack time. If you choose to send in a snack please ensure it is a fruit or vegetable. If you would like any more information about suitable snacks please ask a member of the Tiny Tiger team. Your child is entitled to free milk daily until they turn 5, if you would like to your child to receive milk please register online at http://www.coolmilk.com.
Water bottles - Please make sure that your child has a bottle of water (no juice please) in school every day so they can access their water independently throughout the day. This ensures that adults are not taken away from important teaching time to supply drinks we are also helping the environment by not using single use plastics in the classroom.
DB Primary – Kingsdown and Ringwould Primary School has a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) called DB Primary. Pupils and teachers can access the VLE 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, from either home or school. The VLE contains a variety of links and documents to enrich your child’s learning and is a place for communication and collaboration using email and various communities (classes and interest groups) that your child may belong to. It is also a safe and secure place to teach your child about how to use the Internet and web-based technologies safely and appropriately.
Children will develop their use of the VLE as they ascend through the school years, therefore the way your child uses the VLE in Year R will be very different from the way he or she uses it in Year 6. For parents in reception we would like to offer an afternoon session where you can learn more. We will talk about DB primary at the Phonics and Early Reading workshop – details below)
Pupils and parents are given a unique username and password with which they can access their class page, as well as class calendars, pieces of work they would like to share with you, or that they want to work on at home, and documents such as spellings or homework.
Our VLE provides a Parent’s information page, where you will have access to school policies, newsletters, events, photos and a calendar. You also have access to your child’s VLE account, where your child can share their learning with you and retrieve useful documents such as homework. This enables you to keep up to date with your child’s learning and progress through each year.
Reading - When we feel the Tiny Tigers are ready we will begin to send reading books home. We ask that you spend time with your child reading their books to support their learning. We ask that you spend 5/10 minutes at least 4 times a week, children who read a lot at home develop the skills needed to become confident readers much faster than those who don’t practice. Tiny Tigers will be awarded team points for their reading efforts and each term the winning team will earn an extra playtime! We offer an Early Reading Workshop. Phonics and DB Primary workshop this year it will be at 2pm on Wednesday 8th October – it is worth coming along to see how we teach phonics and early reading in the Tiny Tigers class.
Tufty, Stripes and Tickles– Our class mascots are called Tufty, Stripes and Tickles. We send them home with a different child each week and ask that you upload some pictures (onto DB primary) for your child to use as prompts when they are telling their classmates all about their weekend. We show the photographs on the class smart board so that all of the children can see and ask questions making it a wonderful speaking and listening opportunity that is valuable for all of the children.
PE kits – Tiny Tigers will have PE on a Friday morning. Please make sure your child/ren has a PE kit consisting of their colour t-shirt, shorts and plimsolls in school; they will be kept in their locker and sent home at the end of each term. To begin with we won’t be changing into full P.E kits (they will initially just change their footwear) and ask that you continue to help your child to become more independent when dressing themselves. Please make sure PE kits are always in school and that long hair is tied up on a Friday.
Termly Drop Ins – Each term you are invited to come and see all of your child’s hard work, from 3.15 – 4pm. Look out for dates in the newsletters.
Learning through play – The Tiny Tiger team work hard to provide a safe, stimulating environment that encourages and supports your child to learn and develop. Teaching in the Early Years is all of the things we do that help the Tiny Tigers to learn. Including communicating, modelling language, spotting a moment to intervene, demonstrating, explaining, exploring the ideas of children, encouraging them, questioning them, facilitating what they are doing, supporting and challenging them to take the next steps, we celebrate our successes and learn from our mistakes. We do all of this within meaningful play opportunities that develop positive learning experiences and lead to the children developing into lifelong learners.
Communication and Language
Tufty, Stripes and Tickles will begin to visit the Tiny Tigers for the weekend (3 children each week). Every Monday they will have the opportunity to tell their classmates all about their weekend; this helps to develop your child’s language, confidence and listening skills. We ask that you upload 1 or 2 photographs onto your child’s DB primary page so we can share them with the class on the whiteboard.
We will also continue to send home the special book bag. This should be a story book that can be read in full in no longer than 5-10 minutes to allow us enough time to read the story and still have time to talk about the best bits and the reasons why they chose that book.
Our role play area will become a hospital and will provide lots of opportunities for children not only to develop communication and language skills but also links to many other areas of the curriculum. Children will develop an understanding of some key concepts and new skills (healthy eating, staying safe, reading, writing and working together) through their role play.
This term we will continue to change into PE kits for our Friday morning PE session (please check that your child’s uniform is labelled so we can easily return items of clothing that have got muddled up or lost). We were very impressed with the Tiny Tigers when changing into their costumes (independently) for the Christmas performance. Keep encouraging this independence as they are getting ready for school each morning please. Lots of children are now showing they are able to do up their own coats too, this is great for their fine motor skills, co-ordination and they are really proud when they keep trying hard and are successful!
In our PE sessions we will continue to think about how we move in a variety of ways and developing vital skills including throwing, catching, dribbling, skipping and balancing. In class, we will continue to develop gross and fine motor skills through a variety of activities that develop and strengthen the muscles needed to be successful writers.
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
We will be sharing lots of traditional stories and using these to explore new vocabulary and how the stories make them feel. We will also explore how the characters might be feeling and linking the stories to real life situations and asking the Tiny Tigers to talk about times when they have felt happy, excited, worried or sad. We will use stories to think about behaviour and consequences, using stories such as ‘Goldilocks and the Three Bears’. We will be asking the children if Goldilocks was right or wrong to go into a house that didn’t belong to her and what she could have done differently. This will also link back to the Tiny Tigers helping them to make the right choices and begin to think about the needs of others. We will also link our Christian values (Forgiveness, Aspirations, Interdependence, Trust and Humility) into our circle time sessions using stories and class discussions.
At the end of last term we completed phase 2 phonics and started to learn some of the phase 3 sounds. (I will continue to send out more details on a Tiny Tiger newsletter). Reading sessions will continue and we ask that you continue to support your child to read at home. It is extremely important that your child reads regularly at home to ensure they get the reading practise they need to continue to make excellent progress. We expect Tiny Tigers to be reading at home at least 4 times a week and Tiny Tigers will be rewarded with team points for reading regularly at home (details in their reading records). We will continue to enjoy books as a class, we will explore the books, think about the characters, discuss new vocabulary and we will be asking questions to make sure children understand the text.
We will be encouraging children to have a go at writing in a variety of contexts that will include labels, menus, lists, letters and stories. As they become more confident with applying their phonics skills, we will be using sound buttons to demonstrate and support their emerging independence when listening for the sounds they need to begin to write words down.
We will continue with ‘Helicopter Storytelling’ to support the Tiny Tigers’ imagination, storytelling language and confidence. They will be developing skills that will lead to them becoming writers as they begin to realise how writing can help them to share their ideas – this is a very exciting term!
We will continue to develop understanding of numbers (focusing on the tricky teen numbers and developing a real understanding of the numbers), ordering numbers to 20, counting to 100, thinking about one more/less and we will be adding and subtracting in lots of practical ways. We will introduce money and provide lots of opportunities for the children to apply their new learning we might even have a pop up shop to help them apply their skills. We will also have lots of practical experiences of weighing, measuring time, comparing and ordering (size, weight, length, capacity). We will continue to learn about 2D and 3D shapes and we will provide lots of opportunities to develop mathematical language and problem solving.
Understanding of the World.
We will continue to explore different celebrations around the world by learning about Chinese New Year and looking at the similarities and differences to Christian celebrations with a particular focus on Easter. We will be thinking about being different and unique and celebrating the similarities and differences we have within our class. We will continue to learn about the seasons and observe the changes that happen between winter and spring. Please make sure your child always has a warm coat in school so they are able to take part in any outdoor learning opportunities (we might get some snow to explore). We will be thinking about e-safety learning how to be safe online. We will also be thinking about all of the technology we have in our homes and schools and how it helps us in our day to day lives.
Expressive Arts and Design.
We will continue to sing, dance and enjoy music (from around the world) and begin to make our own music. We will be learning about artist Vincent Van Gogh and looking at some of his most famous paintings – we will of course have a go at creating our own Van Gogh inspired art. We will use the role play area and helicopter storytelling to support our role play, developing imagination and storytelling skills. We will have the opportunity to explore our own ideas using a variety of media and materials throughout the 2 terms.
Thank-you all for your continued support,
The Tiny Tiger Team.