Monday 26th September 2022
Hello Tawny families!
We are so pleased with how well our lovely class has settled so far! Already, Elf Owls have experienced Forest school, P.E lessons, Toast Cafe and Buddy Time! Elf Owls, you have shown us you can: share, build, run, fix, snip, problem-solve, observe, show courage, dance, sing, listen, learn new routines, make new friends and so much more! We are loving teaching you all!
Last week we started to think about Harvest in school and this week we will continue with the theme of Autumn. We will start the week with a walk around the school grounds looking for signs of Autumn by enjoying an 'Autumn Treasure Hunt.' Let's see what treasures we find!
Parents and carers, you may have noticed a little grey book in your child's book bag in the last few days. Over the coming weeks, we will write the phonemes (sounds) we are learning at the front of the book and the 'High Frequency words' (words which appear lots in text) in the back. Please support your child with consolidating their learning at home by practising reading/ writing the sounds/ words. Your child can write directly into the book to practise or they could choose another way to learn them; here are a few ideas:
- Make letters/ words using play dough or plasticine
- Write on post-it notes and stick in key places around your home (fridge, bathroom mirror..!)
- Write in rainbow colours
- Paint letters and sounds on the ground or walls outside with water
- Pour some table salt into a shallow tray and use a finger to write in it
- Use different writing materials such as chalk, crayons, highlighter pens, felt tipped pens...
This week the new letter sounds we will learn are m, d and g. We will also continue to revisit s, a, t, p, i and n. The linked Monster Phonics Ebooks this week are books 4, 5 and 6 under the Reception tab. However we recommend that you revisit earlier books frequently to support your child's progress. If you haven't already created an Ebook account (linked to our school subscription), then please follow this link to do so: https://monsterphonics.com/register/ebooks-whole-scheme/?ca=6a82c7bd72475cfe0773d132b43bca33
(Note that only the School Information should be inserted where the form asks for a postal address- The Green, Great Milton, Oxfordshire OX44 7NT).
Finally, just to say that please do write in the yellow reading diaries each time you read with your child at home (their book bag book or Monster Phonics Ebook). You can also use the diary as a way of getting a quick note to us as a member of staff will check them daily.
Have a great week and please do chat to us if you have any questions or concerns.
The Elf Owl Team
W.B. Monday 19th September 2022
We hope everyone has had a restful long weekend.
This week we will be looking at the phonemes i and n in phonics as well as revisiting our sounds from last week; s a t p and looking at the high frequency words in, it, is, I, an. It sounds like we are moving fast, but please don't worry as we will continue to revisit the sounds taught and the great thing is that the children can now start to build/ read words as they know an increasing number of phonemes (letter sounds).
We're pleased to see that many of you have signed up and are already looking at the online Monster Phonics ebooks with your children. If you haven't already done so, scroll down and you will find the link below. This week the relevant books will be Book 2 and 3 in the Reception section (though it is still very worthwhile revisiting Book 1).
Many thanks for all your support so far. The children are being little superstars!
The Elf Owl Team
W.B. Monday 12th September 2022
Dear Elf Owl Families,
Another HUGE WELL DONE for everything our wonderful Elf Owls achieved last week!
Here are a couple of things we will be focusing on in the week ahead…
This week we will start teaching phonics using our new Monster Phonics programme! (See video link above). The first 4 phonemes (letter sounds) we will focus on will be s a t p. The children will read individually with adults in school using the linked books. To consolidate your child’s learning in class, we encourage you to also read the online eBooks linked to the letter sounds they are learning in class. For this week, the children will need to read book 1. (The ebooks will are in addition to those sent home in book bags).
In order to access the Monster Phonics eBooks, you will need to set up a personal account linked to the school subscription. Please follow the link below and complete the form. Only the school information should be inserted where the form asks for an address (Great Milton C.E Primary School, The Green, Great Milton, Oxfordshire OX44 7NT). Please let us know if you have any difficulties with this and we will be happy to help.
Outdoor Clothing and wellies
The children are entitled to play and learn outside all year round and in any weather. From the start, we encourage them to put on their wellies and waterproofs to go outside. This means they can get fully absorbed in their play and get as wet and muddy as they like! Please ensure your child keeps a pair of wellies and waterproof jacket/ trousers or a waterproof suit in school at all times. Clean Forest School clothes may also stay in school on the children’s pegs ready for their Friday session.
The Year 6 Hawk Owls are beyond excited to be paired with their Elf Owl buddies! From Monday the Elf Owls will be given a Year 6 ‘buddy’ and they will spend lunch time playtimes getting to know each other. For the next couple of weeks, the buddies will be together in the Elf Owl garden from Monday to Thursday. On Fridays the older and younger children will be together on the main playground (with the landscaped grass that we call the 'snake') for 'Bumpy Snake Friday!' We hope being with their older buddies will help them to feel relaxed and secure about exploring the wider school environment. From experience we know that having a buddy is so special and really helps our little ones with settling into school.
Have a great week ahead everyone!
The Elf Owl Team
We all listened carefully to Mrs Howlett as she explained the most important Forest School rules.
We had the most wonderful afternoon exploring, jumping, laughing and making mud pies!
Mrs Howlett showed us how to safely play with sticks.
A perfect end to a perfect first week. Well done Elf Owls, we are all so proud of every one of you. Sleep well!
A BIG well done on your first morning Elf Owls!
We were so proud of you all coming in so confidently today and enjoying your new classroom. You all listened really well, shared with your new friends and you even tidied up nicely! We can already see you are going to be fantastic independent learners. Tomorrow we have three more of our friends joining us and we will all enjoy having lunch together! Fantastic work Elf Owls!
Welcome to Elf Owls- Reception Class
Class Teachers: Laura Ray (Mon-Wed) & Sarah Taylor (Thurs & Fri)
Class Teaching Assistants: Nikki Howlett (Daily)/ Elle Fairfax (Thurs)/ Helen Belcher (afternoons)
Additional support: Ella Sansom & Evie Wilkinson
A very warm welcome to all our new Elf Owl families!
Dear Elf Owl families,
A very warm welcome to all of you! We are so excited to continue getting to know you all throughout the year ahead! Please visit this page regularly as we will update key information here, as well as posting news and photos of our learning in school.
The First Week back/ Drop off and pick up times
Elf Owls’ first day at school will be Tuesday 6th September from 9.00am until 11.30am. Please drop your child off at the blue gates with an Elf Owl teacher. A member of staff will then return to open the gates at 11.30am and invite you into the school grounds to collect your child from outside the Elf Owls’ classroom. On Wednesday 7th September school for Elf Owls will be 9.00am to 1.10pm and the children will be staying at school for lunch. A member of staff will open the gates at 1.10pm and again we invite you to come into the school grounds to collect your child from outside the classroom. Full time school begins on Thursday 8th September. You can drop your child at school from 8.45am-9.00am and then pick up as usual at 3.30p.m. At Great Milton we have a slightly staggered start to our school day and you have a 15-minute window to drop your child at school in the morning. The school gate will close at 9.00am. If you are late for any reason, please take your child through the main entrance and sign them in at the office with Mrs Biel.
In the coming week and throughout this term, we will work on helping the children to feel comfortable and at ease in their new environment. We will support them in getting to know their new peers and staff and teach them the routines of the school day. Above all, we want the children to be happy, safe and to have fun!
Your child is welcome to have a free school lunch daily, bring in a packed lunch from home or enjoy a combination of the two. We do not need to know in advance if they are having a school meal; the children can come in on the day and we will ask them what they are having that day. (We will also check that we have the correct number of lunch boxes!) Zoe, our school caterer will then offer a meat and a vegetarian option, as well as a pudding. Please send your child to school with a named water bottle as they will drink this throughout the day and at lunch time.
We will provide free fruit every morning during snack time and a drink of milk, should the children wish to have it, later in the day. We will have drinking water readily available at all times should they forget their bottle. In the coming weeks, we will introduce 'Toast Cafe' once a week. The children will learn to spread their own piece of toast and cut it into pieces. We find Toast Cafe helps to strengthen the children's hands ready for writing. We have also found both snack time and Toast cafe provide a brilliant opportunity for social interaction and we often make links to other curriculum areas.
Our P.E Days this term will be Tuesdays and Thursdays led by Mr Tom Sykes, our sports coach, and supported by our class teaching assistants. The class will have their first P.E lesson on Thursday 8th September. Children should come to school in full kit on P.E days, rather than school uniform. This includes a white t shirt, dark shorts/joggers/ leggings, a dark sweater or hoodie, socks and trainers. Whilst the weather is still mild, they should wear a sunhat and sunscreen, though as the weeks progress, this may be exchanged for a bobble hat!
In addition to their P.E lessons, Elf Owls will have a weekly forest school session on a Friday afternoon led by Mrs Howlett and Miss Taylor. Please could the children come to school in uniform on this day and we will support them getting changed into their forest school kit which can be left in school on their peg (until it needs a wash; which could be weekly!) Forest school clothes should include a long-sleeved top, long trousers or leggings, socks, wellies and waterproofs (please send old clothes as they will get dirty. The clothes do not have to be uniform colours). As the weather turns colder, additional layers and hats would be a great idea too. We are big forest school advocates at Great Milton Primary and we are so lucky to have Mrs Howlett, our resident forest school teacher in our class! We know from our transition meetings, that many of the children love to be outside, so we know they will be excited to become resilient, creative, independent learners out in nature!
Reading and Phonics
We are very excited to start our new multi-sensory phonics scheme; Monster Phonics! We will start daily phonics sessions on Monday 12th September and the children will read Monster Phonics books regularly in school with an adult (their reading will link to the phonemes/ sounds they are learning in class). You will also be able to support this learning at home by reading the same Monster Phonics eBooks online with your child. (We will send more information about this in the next couple of weeks). In addition to the eBooks, your child will come home with a ‘practise reading book’ and a ‘free choice book’ in their book bags. We will change books daily and we encourage you to read with your child daily for ten minutes. If they are too tired to read to you, then reading to them is great!
That’s probably enough information for now, but we will write further updates in the coming weeks. We are all really looking forward to a very exciting year ahead!
With warmest wishes
The Elf Owl Team…
Mrs Ray, Miss Taylor, Mrs Howlett, Mrs Fairfax, Miss Belcher, Mrs Sansom, Miss Wilkinson