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This week in Dexter Class

Firstly, thank you to everyone who came to our Phonics Evening last week. I hope that it helped to inform you of how we teach our phonics in Reception and into Year 1. The Dexter children are picking up the Phase 2 sounds quickly and this week our focus is on h, b, f and ff as in huff and puff! We will also be practising reading and spelling the tricky words I, no, go, to and the.

Secondly, I have an apology to make regarding the volume of 'art and sculpture work' that is making it's way home to you each day! Your children may be bringing home copious amounts of junk modelling and drawing/colouring. Now, these do not necessarily look mantelpiece or fridge worthy but in EYFS it is all about the process as opposed to the end product. The children spend a lot of time choosing what they want to make and how they want to do it. It is important to let them loose to experiment on how to join things together -at the moment mostly with reams of Sellotape it seems The trial and error processes that they go through is really good for their development of critical thinking skills. We use the Characteristics of Effective Learning and Teaching to monitor how well children are using these skills so whilst it may be tricky to appreciate yet another cardboard bead-encrusted creation please do talk to them about how they achieved their goals. They will occasionally bring home more adult-led pieces which will probably be more pleasing to the eye but do not always mean half as much to the children. The colouring supports fine motor skills and you may have noticed that on the whole the felt tips have temporarily disappeared and children are having to apply more pressure with their colouring pencils to achieve the effects that they want. This all helps to develop mark-making and writing skills.

We are always in need of cardboard rolls, plastic containers, tape, beads etc so if you have anything you think is too good to go into the recycling bin at home we will be happy to receive the occasional donation.

We will be looking at non-fiction texts this week and our focus will be on making a poster about the lifecycle of a pumpkin. We will complete cross-curricular activities by watching time lapse videos of pumpkins growing, cutting up a pumpkin and seeing what it looks like inside and using our senses to help us describe how it feels, smells and even tastes! We will complete a comprehension where I will ask the children some questions based on what we have been reading and then complete a key vocabulary poster as a class. We will also be discussing seasons, and reading the story of Pumpkin Soup by Helen Cooper.

In Maths we are starting a new journey looking at repeating patterns. This will help us with our maths mastery when we come to look at numerical patterns. We started of today by completing simple AB patterns before progressing to ABB patterns. We will then look at mistakes in repeating patterns to see if children can see what has gone wrong and then towards the end of the week we will look at body patterns such as clap, stamp, clap, stamp or tap, tap, clap etc.

This year the Dexter children are very interested in jigsaw puzzles and I have purchased a few new ones to add to what we already have in school. If you do happen to have any that are surplus to requirement at home, then again we would be very grateful to give them a new home.

Finally, we had our first visit to the church today. The Year 6 buddies walked down with their Dexter partners and Reverend Coral led us in a worship about how our food reaches the table and how many people have gone into something as simple as a Kit-Kat chocolate bar in our lunch box! The children engaged well and listened and contributed to discussions about Harvest festival and being thankful for what we receive.


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