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# Spring 1

Spring 1 – Amazing Animals

Literacy

The children have continued to use and apply their knowledge of previously learnt and newly introduced sounds and tricky words in their reading and writing. In phonics they have learnt all of the letters and sounds within Phase 3 which include ‘digraphs’ (one sound made up of two letters, e.g. ‘ow’ for ‘cow’) and ‘trigraphs’ (one sound made up of three letters, e.g. ‘igh’ for ‘night’.) Please continue to practise these sounds and tricky words from Phase 2, 3 and 4 with your child at home on a weekly basis.

Our topic this half term has been Amazing Animals. Each week we asked the children to find out facts about different types of animals. This included farm animals, wild animals, pets and prehistoric animals including dinosaurs. The children then used this information to write facts and interesting descriptions of how these animals look and behave. We also continued to focus on ‘what makes a good sentence.’ The children are now beginning to use capital letters, finger spaces and full stops more consistently and recognise when they have not used this punctuation in their writing.

We introduced the children to the folk tale ‘The Little Red Hen’. We showed them Pie Corbett’s ‘talk for writing' version which demonstrates that by using a story map and actions, children can remember to retell a story off by heart and in sequence. Once the children had learnt the story, they were confident enough to perform it to their peers in the opposite classes.

Mathematics

The children continued to consolidate their understanding of number through learning to say the number that is one more or one less than a given number to 20 and beyond. They also learnt to use a number line to count on or back from a given a number. The children were introduced to estimating. We asked them to think about how many objects  they thought were in a group without counting and to give their 'best guess'.

We introduced 3D shapes and focused on how they differ from 2D Shapes. The children were able to talk about everyday objects in their environment that are the same as 3D shapes. For example, a tissue box is a cube or cuboid shape and a tin of food is a cylinder shape. Once confident in naming these shapes the children were able to use some mathematical language to describe their properties, i.e. faces and edges.

Understanding of the World and Expressive Arts and Design

As well as learning facts about different types of animals, the children were very lucky to have been visited by two different types of pets. Our student volunteer Mrs Fatima brought in her Love Birds and Mrs Petrova brought in her pet Pug called Leo. Each class were given the opportunity to ask questions to find out more information about these pets, which included asking what do they like to eat and drink? Where do they sleep? How do they take care for them when they are sick? Each class set up their role play area based around pets. Amber class had a Pet Shop, whilst Ruby and Sapphire class had a Veterinary Surgery.

The end of January saw Chinese New Year. This year was the Year of the Rat. The children learnt about the ways in which the Chinese people celebrate this important festival. In class they made lots of different types of decorations including lanterns and dragons. They learnt to count and write numbers in Chinese and also tasted vegetable stir fry and fortune cookies.

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