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Welcome to Silver Birch

Welcome to Silver Birch’s class web page.

Our topic in the Autumn term has been Geography based and is about ‘Where We Live’. We have been looking at simple plans and maps of the local area and then the UK, and discussing various aspects of life in this country. We change the Topic every half term, and will keep you informed on the school website. In English we will be working on Labels and Captions, Information Writing, Poetry and Stories. Our Phonics is based on ‘Read, Write Inc’ and is taught every day. In Science we will be looking at Seasons, Habitats and Materials. We will cover several areas of maths, including counting to 100, addition and subtraction, shape and money, building on previous knowledge and skills.

Reading In School
Children do ReadWriteInc every day in school and are taught reading skills in these sessions. The children are grouped by phonics and reading fluency ability. They talk about the phonemes, grammar and punctuation, and make predictions about the story. They also do follow-up written work. These will usually be a more challenging book than they read at home and will not be recorded in their home reading record. We continue to assess the children every 7 or 8 weeks and these groups will change over the year.

Reading Books
All children have a reading book and can change them every day. Please try to listen to your child read every day and record this in the reading record provided. It is also useful to discuss the book to develop your child’s understanding of the text and to clarify the meanings of any new vocabulary. If your child can’t answer your questions help them by re-reading the relevant section of text to find the answer. Please send your child’s reading book and reading record into school every day. This is the only homework that the pupils will receive at the moment, but we feel it is vital to get into the habit of regular reading in Y1.
The books should reflect each child’s phonic development, and will help them build up fluency. They are for practising skills rather than struggling to decode a text. To be described as ‘fluent’ your child should be reading their new book, on first sight, at about 90+ words a minute, with only 2 or 3 errors.

Groupings In Class
Under the New Curriculum the pupils may work in similar ability or mixed ability groups. Each child is challenged within the tasks set in their lessons and so will not always sit in the same groups for Maths and English. We regularly assess the pupils’ progress to ensure high expectations.

Marking
We follow the whole school marking policy and mark work in pink and green. We ‘tickle pink’ things we are pleased with. ‘Green for growth’ comments indicate aspects that your child needs to try to improve or work towards next time. Pupils also receive stickers with helpful comments about their work. The pupils begin to learn about self-marking and peer marking which helps them to have a better understanding of their own learning. Year 1 pupils are encouraged to begin to assess their own learning. Editing is now a crucial part of our writing in both Key Stages, and children are shown how to edit their own work. The school uses a complex code but one that the children learn to use competently as they progress through school. It has been seen as excellent practice by moderators in the authority in the past.

Homework
Reading together and discussing the text in reading books is a very important part of homework. Later in the year there may also be maths, literacy or topic related tasks. These will be sent home with a date for completion.

P.E.
P.E. is on Tuesday afternoon and Forest School counts as our second session of exercise at the moment. Please ensure that your child has a full P.E. kit in school. Pumps or suitable trainers can be used for outdoor games sessions later in the year. All clothing needs to be named.

Belongings
Please put your child’s name on all of their clothes and belongings. This includes every piece of uniform, shoes, coats, bags and P.E. kits. Even at this time of year children need a waterproof coat with a hood, as we do go out for our breaks during inclement weather! This also applies to Forest School clothes.

Water Bottles
Please provide your child with a small, named water bottle or drinks flask to keep in the classroom. These should have ‘sports caps’ to reduce spillages. Our cloakroom has a water cooler from which the children can fill their bottles daily. Children are expected to take the bottles home daily for a thorough wash.

Healthy Snacks
The children are provided with a free healthy snack every day. This could be apples, tomatoes, raisins, carrots or satsumas. Please check the school policy on Healthy Snacks if you send a snack from home. We also have a child with a nut allergy and at the moment we are asking that nuts should not be brought for snacks or in packed lunches.

Expectations
Children from Year 1 onwards are assessed as working towards the National Year Group Expectations (Age Related). The national expectation is that children should be working securely at their Year group objectives by the end of each year. There may be some pupils who are working at greater depth in these objectives, and some who are still working towards achieving all the Year 1 objectives. We assess and monitor all our pupils continuously to ensure they get appropriate support. (Please see the Curriculum Objectives handout) Year 1 and some Year 2 pupils will complete the Phonics Assessment in June.

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