Welcome back Reception! We hope that you have all enjoyed a happy half-term holiday rest and are now ready to start our last topic of the academic year!
We can't believe that it is the start of Summer 2 and how fast the year has gone, despite being in lockdown! In our time together in class and your time learning at home together we know how much you have changed and grown since September which makes us immensely proud. We are so sad that we can't see you all in our classrooms today to see how tall you've become, how tanned you are from playing out in the sun, or if you have had any wobbly teeth fall out, as well as hear all your stories from what you have been doing...but...we are happy to know that you are safe, healthy and happy with your loved ones and have our fingers and toes crossed that it won't be long before we can see you all.
This half term is magical so get ready to lose yourself in a faraway land of Turrets and Tiaras! You can find out about all the things we would cover at School for this topic in the 'Helping at Home' letter, as well as some ideas that you may like to do at home without pressure or just to keep busy in the Pupil Voice link below. We will continue to set your home learning activities as before each week, not forgetting your 2Do activities on Purple Mash every Tuesday. Have a fantastic time learning at home, and remember to keep smiling! You've got this!
The Reception Team
In school we strive to do handwriting practice every week. Before lockdown began we had managed to cover formation of all the lowercase letters. We learn these in sets - ladder letters, curly caterpillar letters, one-armed robot letters and monster zig-zag letters.
This week we would like you to focus on letter formation. To begin with ask your child to write one letter at a time - no visual aids, no prompts, no copying letters, and be ready to watch closely and make a note of any letters formed incorrectly. By doing this first it helps you to see if your child correctly matches the letter sound to the letter shape, as well as identify whether they use the correct formation. In Reception it is common that most children's writing looks correctly formed, however when you watch carefully each letter being formed they often use an inaccurate formation. Incorrect formation is inevitable in early years writing but can bring difficulty when children learn later on how to join letters. It is important that every letter is formed correctly and that any inaccuracy is addressed as early as possible because incorrect habits are very difficult to undo and can take longer to amend. We would like you to take this time at home to help address any incorrect formation where possible.
Once you know what letters your child needs to focus on then the first step is to model the correct formation to your child before they practise, practise, practise! You may need to spend time developing your child's pencil grip if it is seemingly uncomfortable.
Practising formation can be done in lots of ways - chalking outdoors, painting, tracing, following with your finger, air writing, squirty bottles of water outdoors, writing in the sand, with bath crayons at bath time, with gel pens, following apps such as Hairy Letters. There is also a link below to BBC Bitesize Handwriting which has videos to help with letter formation. At this stage of the acadeic year we focus on applying letter formation to paper with a handwriting pencil, thinking about size and sitting the letters accurately on the line.
If your child is able to form all of their lowercase letters correctly then we would ask you to look at capital letters. Many capital letters look completely different to the lowercase and this may need to be introduced and explained to your child. They may already recognise many of them, however there will be a few that are less familiar.
In the last few weeks in school we were focusing on children refining letter sizes so that all letters were accurately sized. Many children fill the line space with letters such as 'a', whereas they should only fill the bottom half of the line space with this letter. You can practise sizing on the 'sky, grass, mud' lines (linked below) and then have a try at handwriting on lines ideally spaced 10-12mm apart. If your child is ready for smaller line spaces then you can practise with this too.
We would ask that, if you can, focus on handwriting for a short session each week to practise and embed what they have learnt, then working your way through the uppercase letters.
In Reception during summer term we would like all children to be comfortable with numbers - counting to 20, beyond 20, up to 100. Counting backwards from 20 is a skill that is also taught in Reception in preparation for learning in Year One. This week's numeracy is all about being comfortable counting forwards and backwards, and being familiar with number order.
Activity 1 - Counting with objects forwards and backwards
Your child can choose a number card from 1−20 (number cards available on the links above). They use counting equipment to count out a given number of items and then give these to a family member or soft toy, counting back. This will need to be modelled initially for your child so they understand what they do. They then repeat a number of times, choosing another number card and a different item to count. Children can play in pairs and so give each other the items, counting them into their basket and then counting back to place them in their partnerʼs basket. You can use whatever you have in your house, or you can theme it to our topic with jewels and beads!
If your child struggles to count back, try to use numbers close to 10 to really rehearse counting back from 10 before extending beyond 10. If your child is confident using numbers of items above 20 and trying to count back from, say, 25 or any numbers above. The number card links go up to 100.
Activity 2 - My 100 Square
Give your child a copy of the blank 100 square (document above). Your child should write the numbers in to complete their 100-square. They should do this over a few days, not all at once, coming back to it when they want to. Ask your child to answer questions and discuss the numbers as they complete the 100-square, e.g. What comes next? What comes at the end of the row? Can you see any patterns? How many 10s are in the teen numbers? How many rows of numbers do you have to write? How many numbers are there altogether on the square? How many numbers have you written with a 3 in?
If your child is unfamiliar with numbers to 100 try folding the 100-square so they write one row at a time. Use a scribe for some of it, checking they can count and show you which number goes in which place. Try to ensure all children complete up to 20.
If your child is confident with numbers to 100 try asking children to identify patterns in the 100-square, e.g. multiples of 11, etc. Ask children what would happen if the 100-square was continued beyond 100?
There is a Place Value Challenger activity for children who are very confident with numbers to 100 and beyond based upon how numbers are positioned within the hundred square.
Other suggested activities you might like to try...
Snakes and Ladders
A favourite way to count forwards and backwards is by using the game 'Snakes and Ladders'. There are three for you to choose from based on how far your child can count. Don't forget challenge is good - if they can do something then challenge them to the next step.
Following on from using the 100 square can children now fill in the missing numbers on the Royal 100 square. They can count to find the answers or use their knowledge of one more or less and place value to help them work out the answers.
Ordering to 20- Cut and Stick
For those children in need of a little additional practice to be comfortable working with numbers to 20 then they can have a try at the cut and stick activity provided above.
In this Science topic we are spending lots of time exploring plants and the outdoors. To get you started we would like your child to go on a flower and plant hunt around your garden or in your local area as part of your daily walk to see how many of the flowering plants they can find. Above is a hunt sheet that they can take with them and tick off as they find them - don't forget to take a pencil!
If you are able to source bean seeds we would like you to plant a bean so that you can watch the stages of development over the next few weeks. A brilliant way to watch this growth is by planting your bean seed in a glass or clear jar/container. Instructions how to do this are above under 'how to grow a bean plant'. As your bean plant grows we would like you to complete a bean diary (template above) and to use the scientific skill of labelling your diagrams/pictures. We wonder how tall your beans will grow?!
There are lots of other resources above that you can use to learn about the bean life cycle. If you are unable to source bean seeds then please use the PowerPoint and other resources to find out all you need to know. We think your child will enjoy the challenge of the bean matching worksheet where your child has to match the pictures to the description and place them in the correct order as independently as possible. The first one has even been done for them!
This week we are starting to learn about castles. We know that you will love this activity, especially living so close to so many fantastic castles - Castell Coch, Caerphilly Castle and Cardiff Castle!
As part of your history this week we would you to watch the PowerPoint and discuss some of the different parts of the castle with your child. You could ask them how many can they remember? Why do castle's have these features? What parts of a castle have they seen in real life before? Where in the castle are these features placed and why?
As part of your DT this week we would like you to use all the information you have found out above to design and make your own 3D castle out of junk materials. Above are some differentiated fact sheets for you to find ‘what a castle needs’ before your child starts to make their own. We have given you some little ideas as a guide but we are sure you will create some amazing and creative models as we have seen this year in your home learning activities. We look forward to seeing the final products and would love to see them on our @RhiwbeinaPrm twitter page. Have fun!
This week we are looking at the artist Paul Klee and exploring his artwork titled 'Castle and Sun'. We would like you to share the picture above (this can also be found widely online) and explore the following questions...
What can they see in the picture?
Why do they think the painting is called Castle and Sun?
How many different colours can they see?
How many different shapes can they see?
Can they see any features, eg turrets, windows or bridges?
Does your child like the painting? Encourage them to give reasons for likes and dislikes.
Then having talked about and explored the painting we would like your child to create their own version of the painting using 2D shapes. This can be done by drawing, painting, cutting and sticking or any other suitable art method.
Keep your finished work as we would love to see the finished results when we return. You can even tweet us @RhiwbeinaPrm your masterpieces!
During the past few months life has changed dramatically for us all. For a young child this may seem extremely confusing. We felt that it would be lovely to engage your child in an activity that will encourage them to think about the positives they have experienced whilst being at home.
Activity 1 - Have a discussion with your child about all the things they have enjoyed doing during the lock down period. These can be anything from things they’ve done by themselves, things they’ve done with others in the household to virtual contact they’ve had with others.
Would they have done these things if life was ‘normal’? Using the skills they learned last half term encourage your child to write a list of all their suggestions.
Activity 2 - Throughout this week ask your child to fill in a positive feeling chart to include one thing they have done each day that they have enjoyed and to show how it made them feel. Above is a template that you can use or you can use your own on a larger sheet of paper or A4 page per day.
We are confident that you will enjoy sharing this activity together and that it brings lots of smiles! Have a fantastic week!