YR Opal letter autumn 2020

Dear Parents/Carers,

                                 Welcome to a new term at Bishop Pursglove School and to Class Opals YR. I hope that you have had an enjoyable summer break and are looking forward to the new term.

                        This letter contains important information about what your child will be learning over the term and tells you about important routines in Class Opals YR, so I do appreciate you taking the time to read it. Please keep it for future reference.

                        I am very excited to be teaching in Reception and Year One this year. I have a lot of experience working with infant children. I am lucky to have children of my own, so I do understand a lot of your worries! My advice to you, if your child is upset on their first day or cries in the mornings is- don’t hang about. Give them a quick kiss and go. They will be fine, and we will ring you and let you know how they are, if you would like us to.

                        During the first Autumn Term our topic is ‘Do you want to be friends?’. We have set up a house experience in the role-play and I have planned lots of exciting, and play-based activities around this topic. We may text you to ask the children to bring things in from home related to this topic, if current guidance allows this, at the time. In the second half term, the topic will be – Why don’t Snakes have legs? Your child will also have daily maths, letters and sounds and literacy experiences. They will take part in P.E. twice a week with a sports coach and each term we will have an R.E. week where we will plan and deliver R.E. every day. We will also be concentrating on the children’s well-being and making sure that they are supported through the ‘back to school’ process.

                       In the first term your child will be baseline assessed by me to find out where their strengths and weaknesses are and what their next steps need to be. The information will be used by me for my planning and assessments and some aspects of this may be shared with you during parents’ evening. I am also an ‘early adopter’ for the new Foundation Stage curriculum this year. This means I have volunteered to adopt the new Foundation Stage curriculum early and am trialling it for the DFE. Your child will be working towards a new set of Early Learning Goals and more information will be available about this as I get it! I am looking forward to trialling it.

                        All primary schools are given free fruit as part of a government funded scheme in raising children’s awareness about healthy eating. This has become part of the morning routine. Children are given a piece of fruit as they go out to play. The children are all encouraged to try and eat this fruit as it aids the children’s concentration for the rest of the morning. If your child is allergic to fruit, or indeed any other foods, especially nuts, then please let me know. Please do not send your child to school with a snack from home. Children are not allowed sweets or nut products in school, including children who bring packed lunches.

                 All children under five receive free milk at morning break. On the day your child turns five, they will stop receiving it. If you then wish for this to continue, you will need to organise to pay for this. This milk system is not operated by school, it is an outside service and any communication regarding milk needs to be with the company, not with school. Information regarding this will be sent in a separate letter.

                        Our P.E. days will be Thursdays and Fridays. P.E. kit consists of a white t-shirt, dark shorts and pumps (joggers and navy jumpers for outside wear). Please ensure that every piece of kit and school uniform is labelled clearly. Because of the virus, children need to come to school in their P.E. kit on the days they have P.E. They need to make sure they have a warm top and warm joggers for going outside in. I also advise trainers as pumps can get very wet in rainy weather and they will not be able to change them. There is a jumper box in the classroom where children can leave uniform if they get too hot. P.E. kits also need to be taken home for washing.

                       A reading bag box will be situated in the corridor for children to put their bags in. Children are not to bring toys from home. We have a school toy box. This box will go out to play with the children at playtimes and will have in it balls, skipping ropes, skittles as well as other activities. We appreciate you supporting us with the children not bringing in toys from home as it causes too many problems during the school day. We also ask that children do not wear jewellery of any kind.

                       Reading books-Reception children will now get a reading book using the sounds they are learning. They will get a book when we are confident they are secure in sets of letters/sounds. Once your child starts reading, an adult will regularly read with your child, so reading books need to be in school every day. Children also read in guided reading each week, although this will not be from their home/school reading book. It is important that books are shared at home with family and friends, not just at school. It is important for children to have a reading system in place at home from the start of school, even if you do not have a school reading book, reading a book from home/library every night together is a great place to start and gives your child a love of reading from their very earliest years.

               Children will get a library book from school each week too. This is for children to share at home. It needs to be returned the following week in order for a new one to be issued. We will keep a record of which books your child is taking home.

               Children will also be given a password and username so that they can access ‘Bug Club’ for any additional reading you want to do in the week. This allocates a range of e-books to the children at their level. More information about this soon.

                      As soon as we start our daily letters and sounds teaching programme in YR, children will be given letters and sounds homework sheets to complete at home. Children will be rewarded for their completion and their return to school.

                 Children may bring a drink of water with them. This can be an extra drink if they already bring a drink with a packed lunch. The drink needs to be in a child friendly container i.e. children need to be able to get the lid off by themselves. Their drinks containers must be labelled. Sandwich boxes can be left on the trolley in the corridor outside the kitchen. Squash/water only at lunchtimes. No fizzy drinks please.

                 Reading bags and letters will be given to the children before they go home. Please check with your child that they do not have a letter in their reading bag as children are asked to put them in their bags. Children will be handed over to you when I can see the person who is collecting them. If your child is going to after school club, then please let me know. Please could you also let me know if someone different is picking up your child e.g. a friend, relative etc. as I am not permitted to let your child go home with anyone who I have not been informed about.

              I will use the school texting service, to make you aware of additional things which are happening in class, as the year progresses or to let you know of things we are collecting for lessons.

             Mrs Jackson or Mrs Bingham will teach in class Opals YR on Fridays. I have my planning, preparation and assessment time then. There may be occasional times when Mrs Jackson/Mrs Bingham and I have to swap our working days around. This will not be very often and we will inform you. There may also be times when I go on courses or to meetings. Continuity for the children is most important. Please remember that we finish at 2.40 p.m. on a Friday and a prompt pick-up at 2.40 would be appreciated.

                Please could you let me know if your child suffers from asthma or if there are any medical conditions that I need to be aware of. We will need you fill out forms for this and provide an inhaler for school. Please remember that if your child has sickness or diahorrea, they must be off school for 48 hours after their last bout of sickness or diahorrea.

                 Don’t forget to visit the school website during the term. I will be adding things to it over the next few weeks. Attached you will find a parents’ sheet sharing some of the things we are doing at school and suggestions of activities you might like to try at home for the next half term. They are linked to our topic.

                 I hope that your child feels happy, relaxed and stimulated in Class Opals YR and they enjoy their time at school. If you feel at any time though, that you want to speak to me about your child, I shall always be happy to listen and discuss any of your concerns.            

                  Thank you for taking the time to read this letter. I hope that your child enjoys being a member of Class Opals YR.

                                                Yours sincerely,

                                              Amy Mallender (Mrs).