Dear Parents and Carers,
As you know EYFS have a completely different curriculum to the rest of the school and the way we plan is also very different. As a result of this, I will be uploading a weekly overview of ideas for potential learning opportunities, based on a theme or a book and covering all 7 areas of the EYFS curriculum. Please note, this will be more detailed this week, as I have covered on-going learning, such as phonics, maths and reading.
You do not need to do everything on this overview- even if you just pick one or two things to do from each area over the week, you will be doing a great job! It is highly important however, that your child practises their letter sounds and tricky words and applies them through a reading and writing activity daily. Reading will help improve their vocabulary and a child’s academic success depends upon the ability to read and write and so this should be a priority.
Important- Please take a photo or where appropriate, a video of your child’s learning and upload it to your child’s Tapestry account. I will be looking at this throughout each day and will be able to give encouragement, by liking posts and making comments. It will be very helpful to me if you write a brief comment about the learning, describing what your child has been doing. Remember, it is only Mrs Gymer and myself who have access to your child’s learning journal.
Finally, if you need to get in touch with me about your child’s learning, I will be picking up emails between the hours of 8.50am and 3.30pm Monday- Friday.
The email address is:
Remember, there is no such thing as a silly question; we are all trying to do our best in a very difficult situation.
Thank you for your continued support,
This week’s focus is the story ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’
The children are familiar with this story and so it’s a good book to start with. If you do not have the story at home, there are hundreds of different versions of the story online.
This version from the BBC Schools website is quite nice as it breaks the story up into lots of small film clips. https://www.bbc.co.uk/teach/school-radio/english-ks1-jack-and-the-beanstalk-index/zn9hxyc
Personal, Social and Emotional Development (PSED)
- Discuss the character of the giant. Why did he behave the way he did? How would you feel if Jack took your belongings? Encourage your child to think about the story from a different perspective.
- Talk about Stranger Danger- Discuss the importance of not talking to people that we do not know. Make a ‘Stranger Danger’ poster and display it in your home to remind your family of the danger.
- Make some leaf shapes from plain paper. Think about your different friends and family. Write about/ draw and label why they are a good friend/family member on a leaf and decorate it. Stick the leaves on the wall to form a beanstalk. As each leaf is added, Jack gets to climb higher up the beanstalk!
Communication and Language
- Retell the story of Jack and the Beanstalk in your own words- record and upload to *Tapestry. (*optional)
- Say as many real and nonsense words as you can that rhyme with ‘Jack’ or ‘bean’. Why not set a timer and see if you can think of ten words by the time it finishes. Can you beat your own score?
- Hotseating characters from the story. We do this a lot in class. The children sit in a chair and pretend that they are one of the characters of the story. The adult asks the child a question, for example, ‘Jack, how did you feel when the giant was chasing you?’ or, ‘Jack, why did you steal from the giant?’ They particularly like it when the adult is in the ‘hotseat’ and the children ask questions. This will show you how much they understand the story!
- Build a large scale castle from cardboard boxes or pieces of furniture.
- Build giant furniture and objects.
- Build castles from small construction.
- Play a game with some tweezers, jelly beans/different dried beans or pulses and a 30-second timer. Challenge the children to see how many beans they can sort into colour categories in the 30 seconds.
- Fine motor skills – Paint some broad beans in different colours to make them look like magic beans.
- Use things around the home, (tins, cereal boxes, toilet rolls, pillows) and stack them on top of each other. Can you stack them higher than a beanstalk?
Understanding the World
- Research the internet and find out about the things a plant needs in order for it to grow properly.
- Spend lots of time in your garden or any outdoor space and really look at all the wonderful things that grow there.
- Learn about the life cycle of a bean using a lapsed video. See an example here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pg92cspLy0I
- Plant some cress seeds or runner beans and keep a bean/ cress diary. See the above video on an idea of how you can closely watch a bean germinate in a glass jar and then begin to grow.
- Take a long roll of paper outside and lay it out.(wall paper, wrapping paper) Gather lots of leaves, twigs and other natural materials to create a beanstalk on the paper.
- Research on the internet- what is a harp?
Expressive Arts and Design
- Create beanstalks from a range of man-made and natural materials found around the home.
- Make harps/ stringed instruments from junk modelling materials.
- Listen to harp music- how does it make you feel?
- Make collage pictures using dried beans and pulses.
- Create a painting of what you think the giant or his castle might look like.
- Dance daily, using the free Go-Noodle website- https://www.gonoodle.com/ The class absolutely love this website!
- Sing daily, using the BBC Schools Radio website- https://www.bbc.co.uk/teach/school-radio/eyfs-early-years/z6bgnrd Again, the class love this website and it will be very familiar to them!
- The class also really enjoy singing the following songs during special prayer time:
- Reinforce the language of size, using the beanstalk from the story as a starting point- Tall, taller, tallest, short, shorter, shortest, long, longer, longest, small, smaller, smallest, big, bigger, biggest, high, higher, highest, low, lower, lowest. Use things around the home to make direct comparisons.
- Draw and cut out a giant’s footprint on card- can you find something bigger and smaller than it?
- Use beans and seeds to create repeating patterns.
- Count beans and seeds after sorting.
Maths Activities – try at least one a day
- Watch a Numberblocks episode each day at: BBC iplayer or CBeebies.
- Practise counting up to 20. This can be done through playing hide and seek, singing number songs, chanting, board games etc.
- Write out the digits 0 – 9.
- Sing Number songs to practice counting, reciting numbers in order, one more, one less using number songs: Five Little Ducks, Five Little Men, Ten Green Bottles
- Practise counting backwards from 20.
- Look for the numbers on the doors of houses. Do the numbers get bigger or smaller as you go up and down the street?
- Listen to a number song from the CBeebies website. After listening to them, watch again and sing along if you can. Talk about the maths you can see in the video clip.
- Look out of the window and count how many houses or buildings can be seen
- Explore weighing and measuring food on the kitchen scales. Ask, what happens as you place more on the scales?
- Look for numerals on packaging you find around the house. Can your child recognise the numerals and count out a matching amount?
- Imagine that you have found some magic beans. What do they do? Write about them.
- Write instructions about how to plant seeds.
- Begin a bean and cress diary.
- Write directions to get to the giant’s castle.
- Write a simple letter to the giant from Jack saying sorry for stealing his belongings.
- Write about what could be at the top of your beanstalk
Please encourage the children to write as often as you can, using their phonics and tricky word knowledge. For example if they make a wonderful model, tell them to write a sign asking family members to not touch it.
You can support them by getting them to independently sound out each letter sound in the word. PLEASE do not do it for them. They will not make any progress in their writing if you sound it out for them, get them to copy your writing or tell them what to write. They are all independent writers in class. They just need to be making a plausible attempt- I would not expect it to be perfect. If necessary, when they have finished writing, write the words above, if you think they are hard to read.
Please take a close up picture of any writing they do and upload it to Tapestry- I am sure I will be able to read it! If they are forming their letters incorrectly, the wrong way around or hold their pencil the wrong way, please correct your child immediately. Please refer to the inside cover of their original home phonics book for the handwriting phrases, if you find yourself in this position.
Thankfully, we have now finished introducing all of the required sounds for Reception. Please continue to practise all of Phase 2 and Phase 3 sounds and tricky words on a daily basis.
The following websites are fantastic for practising phonics, word recognition and sentence reading.
Twinkl also have some great phonics and cross curricular resources and are also currently free if you follow these instructions:
Go to https://www.twinkl.co.uk/offer and enter the code: UKTWINKLHELPS
Phonics Play in particular is a fantastic resource for the actual teaching of the Letters and Sounds program. It is currently free to parents due to the Coronavirus situation. Last week, I assessed every child that was in school and put the assessment sheets in their book bag. This will give you a good idea of the sounds that your child needs to work on. For those children who were not in, or were absent towards the end of the week, the assessment sheet that I used is on the Phonics Play website under ‘Assessment’.
Please also look on websites such as Pinterest for fun, practical and creative ways to reinforce phonics, reading and writing.
Frustratingly, we cannot change reading books anymore, but we think we may have come up with a temporary solution. Please login to Oxford Owl using the school’s login.
You must put the detail into Class Login not the general login otherwise it will not work. Once logged in, you can go into the bookshelf. Select 2 books from your child’s book band colour and practise reading them every day. There are two activities to go with each book and parent tips at the end of the book. If you click on the parents section too, you should find even more books and resources.
Our RE topic this term is ‘From Lent to Easter’. So far, we have learnt about Lent, fasting, almsgiving, Ash Wednesday and Palm Sunday. Last week, we learnt about Holy Thursday and the story of the Last Supper. Please re-read and discuss this story with your child. If your child was in school last Monday, please get them to watch the video of them acting the story out with their friends on Tapestry.
Finally, please do not feel overwhelmed by all of the above. Just do whatever you can. I am fully aware that many of you are trying to work from home, while looking after your children. Some of you have older children to support or little ones in your house demanding all of your attention. For some of you, there is illness in your family or other more worrying priorities taking over.
Keep safe and God bless you,