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Merlin Class (Year R)

Welcome to Merlin Class!

Class Teacher: Miss Morris

Teaching Assistants: Mrs Hoddinott & Mrs Hewlett

1:1 Teaching Assistant: Mrs Black 

Spring 1; Week 6

The end of another half term is upon us! We have had a lovely 6 weeks finding our feet again after all the festive shenanigans of the previous half term. Although not as many festivities to be celebrated, we have been kept busy with learning lots of new facts and skills as we continue to move at full pace through our curriculum. Half way through the school year - can you believe it?!

This week we enjoyed a new text to wrap up our learning all about Creatures Big and Small - Tyrannosaurus Drip by Julia Donaldson. This book was most certainly a crowd pleaser (you can never go too wrong with dinosaurs!) and the children wrote some superb sentences to describe the dinosaurs. We are beginning to see some brilliantly adventurous vocabulary in the children's writing now. They are enjoying being able to write down their ideas using all the sounds they have learnt and it is even more joyous to read, having to decipher their phonetically plausible attempts!

In maths we introduced 'part-part-whole' models. We are very familiar with the language "part, part, whole" and we knew that a "part and a part makes a whole" however we were yet to come across the written model of this. I must admit a part-part-whole is my favourite part of maths so Merlins have been sure to face this focus this week with high levels of enthusiasm. We have been using PPW models to show the parts of 5 and to begin to investigate parts of numbers to 10. Interestingly through these discussions, the children were very quick to spot the law of commutativity without any adult direction. They have been busy writing number sentences to demonstrate their understanding of this.

We enjoyed a cosmic yoga session linked to the Lunar New Year this week as part of our mindful moments. The children also enjoyed their usual yoga session with Paula on Tuesday. For your information, the children will not be doing yoga on Tuesdays with Paula next half term. Instead as part of our enrichment opportunities, the children will be having environmental learning sessions as well as music so lots to look forward to! PE will remain on a Wednesday 😊

Safer Internet Day 2024

Merlin Class have been learning about how to keep themselves safe in the digital world. We watched a short clip about Mo and Jaz (published by the UK Safer Internet Centre) which explained what to do if we see something we do not like or makes us feel upset/worried. In the video, Mo and Jaz went and told their Dad. We spoke about adults that we could tell at home and in school if we were worried about something we had seen online.

Throughout the afternoon, the children worked in small groups to look at and discuss how tech has changed over time. We noticed how designs had changed and spoke about how there are more opportunities to access the online world now, compared to in the past. We spoke about the importance of keeping ourselves safe online and in the "real world". We recognised that technology is there to help us and that we can learn lots of things online, as well as enjoy fun games, but it is always important to make sure that we do so safely.

As always, the children showed great maturity. Well done, Merlins.

Spring 1; Week 5

Our key text this week has been Superworm. The children have enjoyed writing about their own superhero powers as well as writing a short description about the events of Superworm throughout the book. Maths this week has had a focus on subtraction. We have been using 10-frames to solve subtraction problems. We have also learnt how to subtract on our fingers. Some of us found it quite tricky to manipulate our fingers in this way but we all got there in the end!

Following on from last week's learning about a Church building, we spent some time learning about baptism this week as part of our Understanding the World sessions. We have also continued to recap our learning about animals and habitats through discussions throughout the week. In PSHE, we spoke about how to keep safe online which we will revisit again next Tuesday on Safer Internet Day.

Spring 1; Week 4

This week we have been combining our recent learning about animals and habitats to inspire our writing. We read the book 'Rumble in the Jungle' and we spoke about the different animals and features of a jungle. The children then chose their own jungle animal to write about, beginning with a description of their animal and then a description of its habitat. The final pieces of work truly were spectacular!!

In maths, we have introduced subtraction. The children learnt what 'take away' means and how this can be represented practically and on our fingers. We have created lots of different funny stories to explore the possibilities of subtraction and the children have enjoyed having a go at extending this themselves in provision opportunities. We have also been consolidating our speedy recognition of number bonds to 5. Their recall and understanding of these facts are really starting to embed in their mathematical understanding - it is super to see!

The children enjoyed a brilliant PE lesson with Mr Bunter on Wednesday afternoon, moving carefully along benches and working on their balance and co-ordination skills. We have also been looking at Christian Churches as part of our Understanding the World focuses as well as discussing and studying the life cycles of some animals.

I would like to say that the homework that has been returned this week is truly outstanding! Thank you for your support with this. The children have been sharing all week how much they enjoyed creating their animals with you at home.

Spring 1; Week 3

This week we have been working hard on building up our independence. The children have been writing simple sentences about the Gruffalo and the events that happen in the story. They have been working hard on using their own phonics knowledge to spell the words they need in their sentences. We have also been thinking about how we can describe characters and settings using some simple adjectives. The children had lots of great ideas!

In maths we have been looking at adding numbers together using a 10-frame to help us. We have also begun trying to spot 5 in bigger numbers, again supported by a 10-frame. The children are having to think really carefully about the number facts they know and how they can apply them to their mathematical thinking and problem solving skills. It is tricky but they have made fantastic progress this week!

Our focus for Understanding the World has been animal habitats. We have spoken about different habitats and identified animals which would be suited to live in them. The children were super at explaining why they are each best suited to their habitats. We have enjoyed this focus this week and have had lots of fun teaching Mr Gordon about all the things we have learnt! There have also been lots of art opportunities in provision and we have had lots of 'mindful moments' this week to keep us on task with all the work we have been busy doing!

Spring 1; Week 2 

This week we started our new key text 'The Gruffalo'. The children enjoyed reading the story and learning about the different animals in the book. We started our week by learning about the owl. The children created owl collages and wrote their own fact files in the afternoon. Later in the week, we learnt about snakes. The children learnt how to fold paper to create their own snakes and learnt some facts to add to their animal fact files.

In maths we have been recapping our number formation (this is also the focus for homework this week!). The children have also been comparing numbers to 10 using their much loved "crocodile" symbols and we have been using a numberline and our fingers to find 1 more and 1 less. We will be continuing with our focus on more and less in our topics of addition and subtraction for the remainder of the half term.

Our wider curriculum has revolved around fact finding for a variety of animals. The children have made some fabulous art and gathered lots of knowledge about different animals. The children enjoyed venturing up to the allotments today to see what animals/minibeasts they could spot. Next week we will be learning all about habitats!

Spring 1; Week 1

Welcome back everybody & Happy New Year!

Although only a three day week, we have been sure to make the most of it! We have begun our new topic, Creatures Big and Small. We started by looking at the popular story, 'Dear Zoo' and discussing what zoo animal we would like as a pet. The children drew some beautifully detailed drawings of their chosen animal and each completed their own sentences, in the style of 'Dear Zoo', to create our own class book.

We have been recapping our knowledge of numbers to 10, including ordering numbers and solving simple addition problems. The children have enjoyed looking at number lines to see how they can help us to identify the position of numbers in relation to each other.

We have waved goodbye to our Santa's Workshop role play and opened our new Vets to fit in with our new topic. The children have enjoyed caring for a wide selection of animals!

For 'Fun Friday', during the afternoon, the children enjoyed opening the doors between our classroom and pre-school and spending some time with our friends across both classrooms! It was lovely to see them playing together and being such good role models to the younger children.

It has been lovely to welcome you all back this week. We hope you all enjoyed the festive period.

Merlin Class Christmas Party!

A festive welly walk

To end the festive week, Merlin Class went on a welly walk to spread some festive joy around the village! 🎄🎅🤶

Christmas Caroling!.mp4

Still image for this video

Christmas baking!

To continue with our Christmas theme this week, the children enjoyed baking and decorating some Christmas biscuits to take home. There was lots of careful measuring and decorating taking place.

What lovely creations the children have made!

Christmas Lunch 

The children popped on their best Christmas jumpers today and gathered in the hall for this years Christmas Lunch. What a joyous celebration full of festive cheer! 

Santa Clause came to town!

Today we had a special visitor visit us at lunch time! The children were very excited to see the helicopter land on the field (although it was rather noisy!).

How exciting!

Autumn 2; Week 6

What a busy couple of weeks we have had! From Panto to Pudsey, Nativity performances to the Christingle Service, Merlin Class have time and time again represented themselves, their class and their school beautifully! We could not be more proud. I have been told their singing at the Church this week brought a tear to a couple of staff member's eyes...I understand why - the children sang their little hearts out! 🎵🎶

In between all of our performances this week, we have tried our best to stick to our classroom routines as much as possible. We have been reviewing all the phonics we have learnt so far. The children have completed their Autumn 2 phonics assessment and the results are superb! The Merlin Class Team are thrilled with how confident and speedy the children are with their phonics. I say it often, but Merlins truly are superstars! 🌟

In maths, we have been finding all the number bonds to 5 on a five frame. Independently, the children have been exploring the different patterns in 5 by creating their own 'stampolines' (inspired by Numberblocks!). Their recall of these facts are becoming particularly efficient and the children are beginning to give reasons to support their number sense ("I know that's a 5 because there is a 2 and a 3 and that makes 5") - Well done, Merlins!

This week, we spoke about the story behind our Nativity and why Christmas is an important celebration for Christians. The children learnt about the different characters in the Nativity Story and why they are important. We know that Christian celebrations of Christmas celebrate the birth of Jesus.

In between our busy performance schedules we have also begun our Christmas crafting which we are set to finish next week!

5 more school days left of 2023!

Christingles! 

Merlin Class enjoyed making their Christingles this afternoon in preparation for our service at the church on Wednesday 6th December. They enjoyed learning about the different parts of a Christingle and what they represent with members of our local community. 

Busy, Busy Bethlehem 2023

WOW!

Didn't the children do a fantastic job for their first Nativity! They sang beautifully and shone like the stars that they are!

Here are a few photos from our dress rehearsal. Thank you to all those that came to watch our performances. We hope you enjoyed it just as much as we did 😊🌟✨

Special Visit 

Today, Pudsey surprised pupils at Countess Gytha with a special visit to personally thank them for all the money raised recently in aid of Children in Need.

Merlin class LOVED meeting Pudsey! What a week!

Beauty and the Beast 2023

This morning, the children enjoyed a special performance of Beauty and the Beast. Merlin class sat beautifully and sang, laughed and clapped their way through the performance.
It truly was wonderful!

Autumn 2; Week 4

This week Merlin Class have been busy starting their new focus text 'Stick Man'. We have been exploring rhyming words and looking at the different emotions of Stick Man throughout the story. The children have continued to practise writing short sentences with adults and in provision they have been practising their CVC words independently. Great application of your phonics knowledge, Merlins!

In Maths, we have been looking at addition. We know what the + sign looks like and what it means. We have explored addition by using practical resources and adding compare bears to our ten-frame buses. Alongside our maths lessons, we also have 'Mastering Number' sessions. This week, we have been looking at the parts of 4. We have been learning that 1 and 3 & 2 and 2 are a part of 4.

A lot of our afternoon sessions have been taken up by our Nativity rehearsals, however we still found some time for PE, PSHE and Art. Our circle timed followed the children's lead this week and was spent discussing friendships. Mr Bunter has been teaching the children all about how to negotiate space and jump safely in PE.

We are set for more Nativity rehearsals next week. I know Merlin, Pendragon and children in King Arthur are very excited to show you what they have been working hard on 😊We have also been busy practising for the Christingle service...as always, so much to do!!

Children in Need 2023

Autumn 2; Week 3

Another fun-filled week in Merlin Class this week! Of course, ending with our Children in Need celebrations.

This week, the children have been increasing their independence with their writing. They have been having a go at writing CVC words independently, having to apply their phonics knowledge and think carefully about the sounds they can hear in words. We were so impressed with the childrens confidence with this - super writing!

In Maths, the children continued to develop their subitising. We have also begun to explore the parts of numbers. We have learnt that a part and a part makes a whole and we are beginning to recognise the different parts of numbers 1 - 6. We will continue with this over the next coming weeks.

This week, as usual, the children also enjoyed another fantastic yoga session with Paula and a very energetic PE lesson with Mr B. The have also been busy crafting with Mr Plumbley this afternoon. In the classroom, we have been discussing Diwali, festivals of light and Hannukah. The children practised their cutting skills and each made a menorah to symbolise the 8 days of Hannukah.

Our Star and Worker of the Week this week are Willow and Alex. Well done to you both!

Autumn 2; Week 2

This week we have continued to learn all about different festivals and celebrations, including Bonfire Night and Remembrance Day. We ended our week by joining the whole school for the annual Remembrance Assembly and joining in with the 2 minute silence. We have had some lovely discussions about why we hold Remembrance services and why we wear poppies - Well done, Merlins.

Our phonics programme is beginning to really pick up pace. We have continued to learn more sounds, including digraphs (2 letters, one sound). The children's confidence in blending short words is really improving. it is lovely to see the children as enthusiastic about reading now as they were at the beginning of the year.

In Maths, we have been learning about one more and one less. We recognised that when we find more our number gets bigger and when we find less our number gets smaller. The children used compare bears to help them find one more or less than a number within 6. We also recapped the snappy crocodiles from last week to identify the biggest number. The children enjoyed challenging themselves to compare numbers on their own whiteboard - it was super to see them apply their skills independently! We will be continuing on with the composition of numbers next week, including basic addition.

Our PSHE session this week had us reflecting on how we can make our friends feel better when they are feeling sad. The children shared some lovely responses, such as 'saying kind things', 'giving them a cuddle', 'sharing', and 'playing with them'. We discussed how we could be considerate of others emotions as well as our own.

Another fab week in Merlins!

Finally, well done to this week's worker and star of the week: Eric and Lily! Continue with the great work!

Remembrance Day 

This year, Merlins created some poppies to add to our whole school Remembrance Display. The children enjoyed painting, decorating and planting their poppies to commemorate Remembrance Day 2023. 

Art 

The children began creating some fantastic pieces of art on Friday afternoon. I cannot wait to see the end result!

 

Autumn 2; Week 1

It was lovely to welcome the children back this week. We have really enjoyed hearing all about their adventures over the half term break. What a first week back we have had this week! From Halloween to floods, there has been lots to keep us on our toes! We do hope the floods didn't cause too much trouble for you all!

This week, our key text has been 'Room on the Broom' by Julia Donaldson and this has been what has inspired our writing. The children have been applying their phonics to label pictures from the story, building up to writing about their own animal to add to the broom. I have shared some photos of their writing in the pictures below - very impressive!

In maths, we have been ordering and comparing numbers to 6. The children created their own number line and we introduced the 'snappy crocodiles' ( < , > ) to find the biggest number. The children enjoyed making sure that the crocodile gobbled up the number which was the biggest!

More widely in the curriculum, we have continued with our PSHE focus - I'm special, you're special. The children spoke about the features of themselves that make them special. We also spoke about others that are special to us and how we are special to other people. Following this, the children were set the challenge of finding their puzzle pieces and rebuilding their picture. After they had completed this they had lots of fun swapping pieces with each other to create different people. In our Understanding the World sessions, we spoke about the upcoming Bonfire Night and how we can stay safe around fireworks. The children completed a sorting activity to decide what actions are safe and unsafe around fireworks.

Our provision this week has been keeping up with current celebrations: Halloween and Bonfire Night. At the beginning of the week the children enjoyed lots of sensory Halloween inspired play and crafts. Nearing the end of the week, we started looking at Bonfire Night and we had lots of firework inspired art opportunities.

Well done to Anna and Trixxie for being this week's worker and star of the week! ⭐

Autumn 1; Week 7

This week we have been recapping some of our already taught sounds in phonics. The children are beginning to be able to apply their knowledge of graphemes (letters) to sound out and read short words - Super phonics, Merlins! We have also introduced short phrases in our writing this week. The children practised their name writing by writing the phrase 'I am [child's name]'. This is the first time we introduced capital letters, finger spaces and full stops and I think it is safe to say all the adults in the room were blown away with how well the children applied these to their writing! I am excited to see how much their writing progresses over the course of the next half term!

In Maths we looked at shapes this week. The children worked in teams to sort and name common 2D shapes. Later in the week we then used these shapes to continue a repeating pattern. Many of the children really enjoyed exploring patterns and were spotted creating their own in provision a few days later.

On Thursday, we hosted our Healthy Eating Cafe. This week, we discussed healthy and unhealthy foods and why it is important to fuel our bodies with healthy food. We also started painting the poppies that will be used to create the school Remembrance Day display. On Monday afternoon, the children enjoyed a music session where we learnt different songs and found the beat to common nursery rhymes. It also gave us the perfect opportunity to practise our dance moves for the disco at the end of the week.

What a brilliant first half term!

Healthy Eating Cafe

The children really enjoyed preparing the yummy food our Healthy Eating Cafe. We made pitta pizzas, cheese and pineapple sticks, veg sticks and dip and also a fruit platter. The children did some excellent chopping, spreading and arranging of ingredients!

 

What a lovely selection of food to enjoy with our grown ups!

Hello Yellow Day

The children all came into school today wearing an item of yellow clothing or a yellow accessory.  This was to raise awareness of the importance of wellbeing and mental health.  Thank you for your donations which will go to support the work by Young Minds.

Autumn 1; Week 6

Next week will mark the last week of the first half term for Merlins! The progress the children have made over the past 6 weeks has been outstanding! The children greet us with confidence and enthusiasm each morning and we are very proud of just how well they have settled into school life.

This week we have learnt 4 new sounds (/h/, /b/, /f/, and /l/). We will begin assessing the children's phonics next week. This will mean that we will be able to assign books that are best matched to the children's current phonics awareness.
We have continued to apply the letters that we have been taught in our writing. This week, the children have been forming the letters taught in phonics and then stretching themselves to write a CVC word (hat, bug, fig, log). The children have been very proud of their word writing this week - as they should be!

In maths, we have been learning all about the number 6 and matching quantities to its numerals up to 6. Thank you to all those that attended the maths information evening on Monday. If you were unable to attend but would like to have a look at the handouts given, you can find these on the website (Learning > Mathematics).

Our circle time this week was all about discussing emotions - what makes us feel happy, sad, frustrated or cross. We spoke about how to communicate our feelings safely and how our actions can impact on others' emotions. In our Understanding the World sessions, we spoke about our special people and what makes them special. We recognised that sometimes our special people might be different to others. Today, we enjoyed going on our welly walk to the allotments.

 

Welly walk

After a sudden change of plans, our welly walk today led us to the allotments at the top of our school field. The children enjoyed putting on their wellies and exploring in a new environment - this was our first time making it up to the allotments and I think it is safe to say that the children are very excited to go up there again!

We looked at the plants that had been growing and even managed to find some baby pumpkins. The children spotted lots of different minibeasts, including wood lice, snails, slugs, caterpillars and even some newts!

Autumn 1, Week 5

Another busy week for Merlin Class. Today we enjoyed our first welly walk of the year! This week, we have been discussing signs of Autumn and identifying the four seasons. We have been out on the school field and in the community to see if we could spot any of the signs we have been learning about.

In phonics, we have learnt our first digraph (2 letters, 1 sound) and we continued to learn individual phonemes (/ck/, /e/, /u/, /r/). We have been learning how to form these letters correctly and the children had the challenge of writing the word 'sock'. Merlins are making super progress with their writing. A super effort from all!

In maths, the children have explored numbers in groups. We have been recognising even and uneven groups and identifying groups of numbers within a number to introduce our understanding of composition.

We had lots of fun at the Harvest Assembly on Wednesday. The children really enjoyed creating our artwork to showcase at the church.

Welly walk

For the first time this school year, Merlin Class popped on their wellies and went exploring around our local area! We walked sensibly with our partners to see if we could spot any signs of Autumn. The children picked up lots of lovely coloured leaves and other parts of nature we found on the ground. Our adventure led us to the park, where we foraged for different signs of the seasonal change.

Of course, we had to enjoy a short play on the park, too! What a lovely first welly walk!

Autumn 1, Week 4

This week the children have been superstars. They have been working so hard in phonics to blend their sounds together to make a word. We have seen some real great progress with that this week - well done, Merlins! We will be starting our reading groups next week, so look out for the wordless books coming home soon for your child to share with you! Our sounds and letter formation this week have been /g/, /o/, /c/, and /k/ and the children have been forming their letters beautifully. What superstar writers we have!

In maths we have been practising forming and representing the numbers 4 and 5. We also began looking at 5-frames and how we can quickly recognise what number is being shown without having to count. This is a skill we will continue to work on as our number awareness grows but we made a fantastic start!

In our afternoons we have been busy preparing for the Harvest Festival celebration on Wednesday. The children have been making their artwork to showcase down at the church next week. In PSHE, we had a circle time where we discussed our favourite toys and special things. The children then drew pictures of these and discussed why that item was special to them, with an adult. Of course, we also had our European Day of Languages on Tuesday which Merlin Class really enjoyed.

European Day of Languages - Italy

Today we celebrated a European Day of Languages in true Italian style by making pizzas (gluten & dairy free 😊)! The children assembled their pizza, arranging their toppings just how they like them. Fortunately for us, we had yoga and PE to distract our excited tummies as we waited for our pizzas to cook!

Alongside pizza baking, we have had lots of different Italian inspired learning/activities going on! The children painted some fantastic Italian flags, and we discussed some famous Italian landmarks that the children enjoyed colouring in. We even added an Italian twist to our phonics lesson this morning!

Merlin Class enjoyed eating their pizzas this afternoon🍕🍕

Autumn 1, Week 3

Our first week of full days - completed!🙌😊

This week we have been settling into our full day timetable. We have continued with phonics each morning and the children now know /i/, /n/, /m/, /d/. We have been working really hard on blending words this week (eg, s-a-t, sat), using all the sounds that we have been taught. This is a tricky skill but the children's confidence is growing day by day! In our writing sessions, the children have been practising how to form these letters correctly, being really thoughtful about how we are holding our pencils!

We looked at representing and forming numbers in maths this week. The children began by representing numbers to 5 on a five-frame using counters and then learnt how to form the numerals 1-3 and represent these values through drawing. Merlins have a fantastic sense of number awareness and they enjoy representing numbers in lots of different ways. Keep it up, Merlins!

Our afternoons have consisted of a much more relaxed approach. The children have enjoyed playing games with the adults and building those all important skills in continuous provision! We have had a PSHE circle time where we spoke about what we like about school and what makes us special. We also discussed what makes a good friend and how we can be a good friend to others. The children thoroughly enjoyed PE with Mr Bunter this week - they are often talking about how fun it was, even days after! Well done, Mr B! 😂😊

In provision, the children have enjoyed getting busy with the crafting - I think they are trying to see how many different animals they can make out of a paper bowl! This week they have made turtles, snails, lions... and we've even had quite a few aliens, too! 👽 The children have enjoyed dressing up as different characters and creating their own stories. They have been practising their name writing in glitter, making shapes out of numicon and strengthening their fine motor skills with some pattern threading and using the tweezers to make a pom-pom rainbow🌈

 

Autumn 1, Week 2

This week we started Phonics. So far the children have learnt the sounds /s/, /a/, /t/, and /p/. Following our phonics sessions the children have been practising how to form these letters correctly using our very helpful rhymes to help us ... "Down the snake from its head to its tail", "Around the astronaut's helmet and down into space", "Down the tiger and across its neck" and "Down the penguin, up and around its head" - they are rather catchy after repeating them a couple of times! The children have really enjoyed our start to phonics and are keen to practise (and master) their letters - Keep it up, Merlins!

In provision, the children have enjoyed putting on a puppet show and dressing up, constructing a fantastic wall, playing with the pirate ship water tray and crafting using different materials. We have been looking at how we can represent different numbers on a five frame and this will extend into our maths focuses next week.

We are very excited to begin our full days next week. We have lots of exciting things planned to keep us all incredibly busy.

Thank you for all your support in settling the children this week. It has been lovely to meet with some many of you to share just how fantastic your child is doing.

A very big welcome to Merlin Class!

Welcome to Merlin Class!

Hello everybody!

 

We have had an amazing first couple of days settling into Merlin Class! The children are growing in confidence in their new classroom and we are having lots of fun getting to know them all. We have spent lots of time exploring our new environments and being creative with all the fun, exciting resources we have. The children are settling in remarkably well and it is lovely to be back in a classroom filled with smiles, laughter and curious minds! 

 

We are all very excited for the year ahead!

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