Happy New Year!!
Once again we would like to say a great big thank you to all our lovely caterpillar families for all your kind words, cards and gifts at Christmas. We love teaching your little stars and feel honoured that we are part of their lives, watching them learn and grow. Your appreciation is very touching and most welcome.
Love Katy, SJ, Sue and Georgia xxxx
We are the Caterpillars and we hope that you enjoy sharing our journey with us here on our class page.
We are a fun loving, lively and affectionate bunch of Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 pupils who enjoy being busy and learning new things. We learn best when taught in a sensory and hands on way and that's what our teachers and support staff do best!
Each half term we will focus and learn about different topics within our subjects. See our long term plan below to find out what fun is in store for us this school year.
Keep checking back to see pictures of all the amazing things we are doing here in The Rowan Tree.
Love The Caterpillar Class xx
Home Learning/ Blended Learning
Below you will find some resources you may find useful to use with your child at home. These will compliment the activities and learning in school:
Hello & Morning work
At the beginning of each day we sit with your child individually and look at photographs of themselves and their peers and talk about who we see and what they are doing. We encourage your child to write/mark make on their name card and the names of their peers. Your child will also have more individualised tasks to do specific to them. We then come together as a group and share hello songs and see who is in class. We also look at the weather and explore sensory props (cotton wool for clouds, spray bottle for rain, torch for the sun etc) and to look at our daily timetable.
Try sharing the videos below with your child and encourage them to independently/ overwrite/ mark make on their name or initial. Look at the photos below with them or share the archived pictures from last year and talk about who they can see and what they are doing. If you have any of the props at home that we use for the weather you could use them with the weather song.
Colourful Semantics is aimed at helping pupils to develop their communication and grammar skills. It helps to break down sentences in a colour coded, visual way. There are 5 key colour coded questions 'Who?' [Orange] 'What Doing?' [Yellow] 'What?' [Green] 'Where?' [Blue] 'When?' [Brown]
There is an example below which models how it is used, as well as a book mark and a work board. In class we enjoy looking at pictures of ourselves and our friends and responding to questions such as 'Who is it?' by choosing from a choice of 2 pictures. Staff also model language when sharing pictures e.g. 'What is SJ doing?' 'SJ is reading a book'/ 'Where is Katy?' 'Katy is on the swing'
Try this when looking through photos of family & friends or even your favourite characters on TV, in a book or online.
'Tap Tap Tap' shape reveal bag. The children are familiar with singing the song 'tap tap ta, what's inside? Tap tap tap, what's inside? Tap tap tap, what's inside? Shall we look and see?' In class we take it in turns to take an idem out of the bag. For this session we will be focusing on 2d shape names and properties. We will be using different shaped yummy snacks as they are almost always motivating and if we are motivated we learn best! Depending on your child we will be asking them to find the corresponding 2d shape symbol or name (written word) or they may be asked to find a photograph (choice of 2) of the same biscuit, for example is it a custard cream (rectangle) or jaffa cake (circle). We will also be counting the numbers of sides and corners on the shapes.
Below are some activities we will also be doing in school that you might want to try at home.
Have fun (and don't forget to make yourself a brew before you begin - who say's adults can't enjoy learning too!
Spring Term 1
This half term our topic will be 'Where does snow go?'
We have been lucky so far to have a little flutter of snow to get excited about (but thankfully not so much it causes us any problems as no one needs that right now!!) At home have you played in the snow or felt the ice? When you hold the snow in your hands what happens? Hopefully during the next few weeks we will get more snow so you can have fun exploring in your gardens or at a local park together and really bring this topic to life!
In Literacy the books we will cover this half term are, 'Polar bear, Polar bear what do you hear?' 'Lost and Found' and 'Snowball'. Sensory props, food, songs and puppets will be used to encourage the children to engage with the stories. We will be exploring the outdoors looking at the weather and what happens when it snows and where does this go. All our stories are themed around the topic we are exploring this half term.
The first book we will be exploring is 'Polar bear, Polar bear, What do you hear?' On the website is a video of the story that you can watch and read with your family.
In the blended learning section below we will continue to add activities and ideas you might want to try at home which link to these stories and as always feel free to get creative! I'm sure you have lovely ideas of your own that will work well with your child.
In Maths we will be focusing on numbers, temperature and shape. We will look at songs, props, objects of different temperatures and counting our favourite objects/ toys. We will also be exploring warm and cold objects linking in with our theme and using different 2d shapes to create pictures, for example circles to make snowmen and triangles to make snowflakes.
During our topic lessons we will be looking at the weather, hot and cold objects, as well as looking at objects that float or sink. We will have lots of activities in class testing if objects are hot or cold and heavy or light.
When looking at hot or cold objects we will explore the texture and feel of ice, water, a heat bag and many more. As well as feeling the temperature of objects when we wear insulating clothing, for example gloves.
We will then begin to explore how objects float or sink. Looking at a range of objects and making predications if they will float on top of the water or sink to the bottom.
At the Rowan Tree we follow the Read, Write, Inc scheme when teaching phonics.
Each week we will continue to look at a different letter/sound
Week 1 - c (cat, cake, coat, crackers, cookie, cow, car, cloud)
Week 2 - k (king, kitten, kite, key, kangeroo, kiwi fruit)
Week 3 - u (underpants, umbrella, upset, under) Please note we teach the short u sound so we will not include words like 'unicorn'
Week 4 - b (bubbles, balloon, blue, boot, ball, book, banana, bugs)
At home can you find toys, food, animals or objects around your house that have these sounds at the beginning of them?
Our P.E topic this half term is 'races'.
We will move with our feet together like a penguin, race on our tummies like polar bears and have lots of other fun races using sometimes alternative ways of moving!
We will also look at ball skills which of course will include throwing indoor snowballs at a target and if we are fortunate enough to get real now we will take our learning outdoors and practice making and throwing real snowballs - I just hope I'm not the target!!
Autumn Term 2
This half term our topic will be 'Why do leaves go crispy?'.
In Literacy the books we will cover this half term are, 'We’re Going on a Bear Hunt', 'Chicken Licken’, ‘Dear Santa' and 'Father Christmas needs a Wee!'. Sensory props, food, songs and puppets will be used to encourage the children to engage with the stories.
In Maths we will be focusing on colours, looking at primary colours and mixing colours. We will also be incorporating size. Our Tuesday bucket session will usually have a maths focus. All children will engage in math box activities linked to their IEP targets which are done 1:1 with an adult. They will also access continuous provision activities set up both in class and in our outdoor environment which consolidate and extend their learning.
During our topic lessons we will be looking at seasons and weather. We will have lots of weather activities in class including many sensory items to help the children understand different types of weather and to link them with the symbol that represents that weather form. Children will look to find the appropriate clothes and items for each type of weather and dress up. We will look at what happens in the environment in each of the seasons.
We will be experimenting with different media, tools and mark making techniques to create autumnal art work and we can’t wait to get creative (and a bit messy!)
P.E sessions take place each Tuesday afternoon for Caterpillar class.
Our topics for PE this half term will be gymnastics, practising making large movements with ribbons and hoops and exploring how we can roll in different ways in floor work. We will also begin to look at yoga to stretch our muscles and relax after PE.
We are so happy to have all of our little Caterpillars back together in the Rowan Tree! Whilst we are excited to be back and can't wait to start learning about new and exciting things we also understand that 6 months is a loooooong time for our children to be out of formal education. It may very well take the children some time to settle back into class and recall and accept the rules and expectations we have. Whilst we will be embarking on our topic 'Why can't I eat chocolate for breakfast?' and thinking about ourselves, who we are and how we can make good and healthy choices we will also be following an 'Over the Rainbow' curriculum for the first 4 weeks of this term. Our rainbow curriculum has been developed as part of our Mental Health, Well Being and PSHE Post- Covid19 Curriculum. It endeavors to help children take part in enriching developmental activities whilst exploring their feelings, develop coping skills, renew and develop friendships and positive relationships with adults, to understand importance of being co-operative with others and that change is okay. We will constantly reinforce the importance of washing hands regularly through a series of health and hygiene activities.
The aim of this mini curriculum is for children to be in a place where they can feel happy, confident and ready to learn.
Home School Diaries
We ask families and carers to return the home / school diary each day, as this will enable the class staff to provide comments and information about your child’s day in school. If there are particular things you wish to be informed about, please speak with either class teacher.
Individual Education Plans (IEP’s)
These set out the priority educational targets that your child is working on for the term. IEPs are updated each term and sent home. If there is anything that you would particularly like us to working on please just let us know.
All children are encouraged to engage in reading and develop a love of stories. We have a wide range of reading books, sensory books and big books to support the learning styles and levels for each child. A member off staff will read with your child every day in class, however, at this point we are unable to send reading books home due to current restrictions regarding COVID-19. Any time you can spend sharing reading materials you have at home with your child is recommended and appreciated.
Magic Moment Books
As with reading books we are unable to send home Magic Moments books at this present time.
We are very proud of the achievements your child makes and would still love to hear about the wonderful things they do at home and the lovely times you share together as a family. So don't forget to pop a little message in their home school diary and we can celebrate with you.
Snack and Cookery Money
We kindly request that you send in £2 a week. This will go towards snack, cookery ingredients and sensory items (we use a lot of these) that we use each week.Time always passes us by so quickly and sometimes one week leads into the next in a blink of an eye. With this in mind, if it is easier for you to send in a half terms money at the beginning of the term that is perfectly fine with us.
Below are a few links to song we have enjoyed listening and dancing to on the run up to Halloween. There is also a Halloween themed bucket session. Happy Halloween everybody!
Attention Autism - 'Bucket'
We know how much our Caterpillar's enjoy bucket sessions and we all learn so much from them. Our joint attention is improving with every session and with that we learn so much! These sessions build on our language acquisition of key words and concepts and they are always linked to our half termly theme, mathematics or story.
Although it's not the same as experiencing 'bucket' first hand I have recorded two bucket sessions of stage 1 and 2 for children to watch. Stage 1 is the bucket to focus attention and Stage 2 is the attention builder (to build on and extend their attention) We call Stage 2 'messy' as it often involves delightful mess which is fun and visually engaging! Stage 3 is turn taking. I've included activities that use resources you might have at home if you would like your child to 'have a go' themselves at what they have watched being modelled.
Recap previously learnt sounds - m, a, s, t, d.
This week in phonics we would be recapping the sounds we have focussed on this half term - m, a, s, t, and d.
Your child can watch the video clips below. You can help your child by filling a box or bag with items to explore beginning with these sounds (it is important the item starts with the pure sound the letter makes, not its name. For example for 'a' you could use alligator and apple but not alien as the sound at the beginning is not the pure a sound). Use items that are particularly motivating for your child and can be a mixture of edible and non edible.
Help your child to mark make and form the letters that make these 5 sounds. This doesn't have to be limited to pens and crayons, we enjoy mark making in lots of different media; in paint, foam, glitter trays, gloop, flour... the possibilities are endless! Take a look at what is in your cupboard and get creative! I'm sure your child will love it!
If your child is ready, encourage them to put the letters together to make their own VC and CVC words, for example 'mat' and 'sat'. Below are a few links that you may find useful.
Remember, not every child is working at the same level so don't panic if an activity is too tough.
Your child is amazing and you are doing an amazing job! Lets celebrate their achievements together xx
Maths- Big and Small
We have been exploring all things big and small! During our Maths sessions we enjoy joining in with Maths songs and exploring relevant sensory props to support our learning. We have used our 'attention autism' sessions to support our learning of big and small through many exciting and engaging activities- some of our favourites include 'flour snow storms', 'cola volcanos', 'plant pot splats' and 'currant bun splat' [it is safe to say the bigger the better for all of our messy fun!]
Other activities you can try include:
We love to share some of the fabulous learning that goes on in Caterpillar class!
Here is just a taste of some of the super duper things we get up to. Enjoy!