Pre-Prep News, Friday 4 November
Huge excitement in the Year 2 classroom on Wednesday afternoon… the Surface Gos came to the Maths lesson!
From Mrs Ross
Despite the dark, windy and extremely wet days of our first week back at school, the boys have worked hard and returned to routines with an infectious enthusiasm. My Celebration Assembly today included a huge round of applause for the boys who have made a big effort to improve their lunchtime manners. They have successfully managed to finish lunch five or ten minutes earlier than previously and received the reward of more time outside to play together!
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Pilgrims' Shell Awards
Year 2 – to Aarav for his personal efforts towards improving his cursive handwriting.
Year 1 - to William for very good progress with his handwriting.
Reception - to Ben for listening carefully and following instructions.
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Diary dates: the week ahead
Friday 11 November
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Menus - Please find a link to next week's menus here, on My School Portal.
Reading Books at Pilgrims' - You will be aware that the core reading scheme that we use at Pilgrims' continues to be Ruth Miskin's synthetic phonics programme called, 'Read, Write Inc'. The boys attend daily 'Read, Write Inc' sessions, in small groups. During these sessions they will practise reading, comprehension and writing skills within the context of a shared story or non-fiction book. These books will come home for you to share with your son. During the week, the focus will move from decoding and understanding the text to being able to read fluently with expression. The boys are encouraged to practise reading aloud to an audience with their story telling voices.
As the boys progress through the 'Read, Write, Inc' reading scheme, they will also have access to additional reading books in order to supplement their reading experience and explore a wider range of literature. We encourage the boys to choose their books independently and to become discriminating readers.
Recently the teachers have carried out an extensive audit and reorganisation of our huge selection of colour coded reading books, from a wide range of publishers.
New coloured Book Bag stickers can be found on the front, top, right-hand corner of the books. (You will find that many of the books have a variety of coloured stickers on them in addition to the new 'Book Bag' stickers.) The colours of our new Book Bag labels, match those used in the Read, Write Inc reading scheme and should provide text at a similar level to that found in your son's 'Read, Write Inc' books. However, the Book Bag labelled books are not purely phonetic and may include a wider range of red words that cannot be decoded fully, using sound blending skills. It is important to be aware of the range of reading cues that may help your son decode some of these tricky words and often a combination of graphic, phonic, contextual or pictorial cues will be most successful.
Please do feed back comments on particular texts in your son's Reading Record Book, as these will help us to continue and refine the levelling of our books.
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From the PPA
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Huge excitement in the Year 2 classroom on Wednesday afternoon… the Surface Gos came to the Maths lesson! All boys learnt to log in and find their way to the Times Table Rock Stars (TTRS) website. Year 2 have been issued with a login for TTRS which is located on the inside front cover of their reading record. Always remember to choose The Pilgrims’ School when logging in.
You may be familiar with TTRS from a sibling or friend. It is a fantastic resource to aid the learning of times tables in a fun and interactive way. Teachers are able to set specific times tables to practise and adapt these as time passes and confidence grows. Each boy has been given one or two times tables to start practising. Once those are secure, we are able to open up other times tables for them to practise. We shall be regularly using TTRS at school to reinforce their times table knowledge. It would be wonderful if the boys were also using this resource every so often at home (10 minutes a week, for instance) to help their early times table knowledge to really embed itself.
The below FAQs from TTRS themselves are quite helpful.
Any questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Rock and roll!!
The boys have come back to school fully recharged and keen to share their half-term holiday adventures with everyone. It sounds like some great fun was had, from holidays abroad, play dates, family get-togethers, staying at home fun and Halloween baking! Fabulous!
We are looking forward to an exciting second half-term together. I know it will zoom by with lots of different events to celebrate and share. The first of these has been the making of poppies ready to think about Remembrance Day next week. The boys have been busy cutting, painting, and working on making their own poppy using a plastic bottle to support Mr Armstrong's fabulous project of creating a Pre-Prep poppy garden. Discussion have been very thought-provoking, and the boys were amazed that poppies were able to grow in such muddy, churned up war fields after the fighting stopped. We will be watching a very moving animation next week which will help young children to think about war and peace.
Next our attention turned to Bonfire Night, Guy Fawkes and fireworks. The boys learnt more about The Gunpowder Plot and naughty Guy Fawkes' plan. Ask them to tell you all about it and why we celebrate with fireworks. Linked to this, and Space, the boys have made rockets in their own style using joining techniques they have learnt. Super imaginative ideas and lots of fun.
Well done with all of your enthusiasm this week, boys. It has been lovely to welcome you back to school.
It has been a delight to welcome the boys back to school after a well deserved and needed half-term break. They were excited to discover that the reading den had been transformed into our very own 'Pilgrims’ Market Stall' selling fruit, vegetables and spices. The boys have embraced all aspects of shopping; from stock taking, counting out the money in the till, to weighing the food and scanning each item before placing it to the shopping bags. It has been wonderful to listen into their conversations. They have impressed us with their manners, when purchasing and selling their goods.
Parents, if you do have a purse/wallet full of money, might I urge you to let your son sort the coins and even play 'Shop'. Encourage your son to choose up to ten objects to place in his own market stall and take turns in the different roles. Unsurprisingly, the boys were very enthusiastic and familiar with the scanner beep and credit card, less so with actual coins. Much discussion and learning has taken place over the values of each coin, along with sorting by colour and size.
It was also wonderful to see the boys' enthusiasm at choosing a new book, during Sit Down, each independently getting their own chair and choosing to read, 'like the teacher'! Well done, boys, you have impressed us all this week, with your enthusiasm and attitude to learning.
This week in Forest School the boys became shape detectives. Using our special shape magnifiers, they tried to identify several mathematical shapes in our natural environment. I was impressed with how many shapes they found. Now that the boys are more settled into the routine of Forest School, we took them further afield for the second part of our session. We spent time on the playing fields, rolling and running down the slope, drinking hot chocolate and listening to a story!
The changing leaves are still a huge inspiration for our sessions and Year 1. After some autumn colour matching the boys were all given a ball of clay and the challenge of creating an autumn ball packed full of colour and autumnal items.
Year 2 recalled their knowledge of an open clove hitch knot and were introduced to a stopper knot. Again inspired by the changing colours of autumn, they created some wonderful leaf mobiles that could hang in the trees. They were also shown how to use the hammock, and some boys had a lovely relaxing time in it.