Our Early Years family has continued to grow this week with further new families joining us. I’d like to extend a warm welcome to you all. I’m sure you’ve had a wonderful week in your new class! There’s been a lot happening this week including the introduction of our online reading resource ‘Bug Club’ and the start of our differentiated phonics programme. Continue reading to find out more! 

In Ms. Zara’s class this week, children engaged with art provision during child initiated time to explore colour mixing. Children enjoyed working together using their palms to mix colours and talk about the effect created. This also helped children who are in the beginning stages of English to develop their vocabulary and learn from each other. Reception U were very proud of their work and enjoyed sharing this with their peers; it is clear to see relationships are flourishing within Reception U. The smiles on children’s faces and the learning conversations taking place were an absolute pleasure to be a part of.

I had the pleasure of joining Nursery classes for their morning routine this week. Children are thoroughly enjoying singing their ‘good morning song’. They now know all of their friends’ names and this has supported them in inviting each other to join their play. Children are showing high levels of engagement during our ‘song stick’ activity too, which I mentioned in previous newsletters. This week’s song was ‘Gonna build a house’. Children’s enthusiasm during this song was infectious; I loved singing along! This has helped them learn new vocabulary such as the words, chimney, garden wall and roof, which they are now using in their play. Keep singing Nursery, it’s having a huge impact on your communication and language development.

Through close observation of children’s learning during both whole class and group lessons as well as child initiated learning it has become apparent that children are working at very different stages in phonics. As a result, it is of the utmost importance that we plan our programme according to the needs of the children, in order for them to make the best possible progress. To manage this effectively we have created four phonics groups in accordance to children’s strengths and next steps; teachers will plan specifically for their group. The children will move between classes in accordance with their group teacher, attending sessions four times weekly at 10.00am on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Learning updates for each of these four groups will be shared via our weekly summaries. Look out for a message in your child’s communication diary this week regarding their group. 

This week, letters regarding our online reading resource ‘Bug Club’ came home. This is part of www.activelearnprimary.co.uk. This week, class teachers from Reception to Year 4 demonstrated the resource in class and the feedback is overwhelming; children are excited to engage with these interesting online books. At present each teacher holds a class account which is used to group, allocate resources and monitor the progress of each child. Bug Club organises books into book bands that match with the Oxford Reading Tree scheme we use at school and therefore class teachers allocate books in line with the appropriate level for your child. It is important to note that children cannot progress to the next book band unless they have secured the skills at the current level, it is for this reason that you may see the same resource appear more than once. It’s worth noting that rereading books is a great opportunity for children to improve on a whole range of skills such as pace, intonation (expression) and word recognition skills. My favourite part of the resource is the questions linked to each text the children read, which supports the development of children’s comprehension skills (their understanding of what they’ve read). These questions are carefully written to target specific comprehension skills, for example literal questions require children to find the answer in the text or inferential questions; questions which encourage children to think using the text and illustrations to justify their thoughts and find hidden meaning. Bug club logs children’s responses and therefore highlights strengths and areas of development which can then be used to plan future reading sessions to target children’s needs. It’s such a fantastic resource!  I currently hold the admin account for this resource. If your child experiences any difficulty logging in please do not hesitate to contact me. Let’s all make the most of it to encourage enthusiasm and enjoyment in reading.

Lots of parents have asked me questions regarding our Book Week costume parade and when this will be. We’re in the process of confirming a date and will update parents as soon as possible. It’s expected that this event will be held in the middle of the school year. Please continue to check weekly newsletters and the key dates section of our weekly summaries for important information. 
Ms. Rachael Whitworth (Assistant Head - Early Years)  
Email Contact : rachael.whitworth@pc.tis.edu.my