Koru News Term 1 Week 4

Kia ora, e te whanau,

We've had a very busy fortnight since our first Blog post for the year, so there's a great deal to report on! And thankfully, the weather continues to be beautiful, allowing for plenty of outdoor play, experimentation and exploration.

Learning Through Play:
We've had a wonderful couple of weeks, with the children's interests leading and informing the play. In Week 3, we received a large amount of brand new outdoor 'sports' equipment, and the children have been having a marvellous time cooperating with each other to create and develop games using the various items.
This week, we have had a big focus on 'Pirates', as a result of the interests of a few of the children. The children have been building pirate ships, making hats and treasure maps, and digging for treasure in the sandpit. The play has been collaborative, creative, engaging, full of fun, enticing, and always energetic! Wonderful times 😊

Group teaching and learning:
At the beginning of this week, we began the guided teaching and learning for our writing groups, reading groups and Maths groups.
The children will be bringing their reading folders home each night, and it's most important that folders are returned with the books to school every day. Depending on your child's priority learning needs, you may find a set of sight word cards in the little back pocket of the reading folder. There will be an explanatory letter in with the word cards, outlining some different ideas for you to help your child with learning these sight words to fluency (meaning, no working out required, rather automaticity).
Some children may also need to be supported to practise and learn the letters of the alphabet. If you know that your child has some way to go in this area of learning, now would be a great time to be giving support to your child in helping with this at home.
There is a link on our school website which takes you to a folder full of great resources which you can print off (and laminate if you have access to a laminator) for use at home. Here is the link again, for ease of access.
...and here are a couple of other fun Youtube links which we have been singing along to in class:
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom ABC
Kiwikids Phonics
Jolly Phonics (unfortunately 'q' is missing, but the children may remember and be able to sing it to you!)

Meetings to be arranged:
We have put a timetable up on the noticeboard for the parents of children who have started school this year. We would like to catch up with you for 15 minutes just to talk about your child's transition to school and some ways you might be able to help at home with learning goals. Please add your name to a suitable slot on the timetable. Many thanks for doing this, and we look forward to meeting with you. Those children who started school in Term 4 last year, will have already had this meeting with Stacey.

Life Education:
Our children have had two visits to the Life Education caravan, with Harold, Siobhan and Lou. We talked about everyone being unique and special, about being a good friend and about ways we might help to solve friendship issues.

Vito's visit to school:

A couple of Fridays ago, Elizabeth's 3-month-old puppy, Vito, came in for a school visit. He met some of the children, who were very calm and quiet for him. The children learnt that when you first meet a puppy, you should avert your gaze (rather than look the puppy straight in the eye) and put your hand down for the puppy to sniff (rather than try to pat the puppy on the head or on its face). Some of the children were able to give Vito a little puppy treat when he followed the instructions, 'Sit' and 'Down'.

House Games:
We had our first House Games event last Friday. The children had enormous fun, engaging in the games that their House Captains had organised. We were very impressed with the children's level of independence throughout this activity. All were accompanied happily to the place in the park where their house group had assembled, and all participated fully in the activities. Well done, children! We're proud of you.

Children's folders and poetry books:
A wee reminder that reading folders need to be returned to school every day, as they form a crucial part of the reading routine each day. Library folders just need to be returned to school on Friday mornings, however, if they are back at school a day or two earlier, that is absolutely fine.
It is best if the children's poetry books are returned to school each Monday morning.

All the best for a wonderful fortnight ahead!
Ngā mihi mahana,

Elizabeth, Jo and Stacey