Holly Leaves

Welcome to Holly Leaves!
 Holly Leaves is home to 14 reception children and 5 Year 1's, Miss Pearson (class teacher), Miss Worgan (HLTA), Miss Evans (TA) and Mrs Tattersall (TA).
In the EYFS, Literacy is defined into two areas; reading and writing.
Children begin writing by mark making and drawing shapes to depict people and objects. Children then develop to draw shapes that represent letters. This development is supported by activities to develop both fine motor control and phonics. To support this children complete a variety activities to strengthen their fine motor skills. These include activities such as dough disco where children move play dough in certain ways alongside the music. We also use tweezers in sorting activities that the children enjoy
We use a phonics scheme called 'Song of Sounds'. Children learn a song to the tune of 'skip to my lou my darling' where every sound has a rhyme. For example, ants on a apple a, a, a.
We then work with the children to recognise sounds. Children then use blending techniques in order to read cvc words (e.g. cat, hot, map). Robot talk is a strategy we promote where children speak like a robot to blend words and go quicker to be able to read the word. Early reading alongside questioning on stories is really important at this year in order to scaffold learning later on. Below is a list of ideas to support reading with your child.
In EYFS, children learn about two areas of Mathematics:
Shape, space and measure
For children to achieve the early learning goal (ELG) for number, they must:
"Count reliably with number from one to twenty, place them in order and say which number is one more or one less than a given number. Using quantities and objects, they add and subtract two single digit numbers and count on or back to find the answer. They solve problems, including doubling, halving and sharing." - taken from Development matters.
Shape Space and measure
For children to achieve the ELG for this area, they must:
"Use everyday language to talk about size, weight, capacity, position, distance, time and money to compare quantities and objects and to solve problems. They recognise, create and describe patterns. They explore characteristics of everyday objects and shapes and use mathematical language to describe them." - taken from Development Matters.
In Holly Leaves, we ensure children have the opportunity to explore their learning through practical activities to develop their understanding. Children complete a carousel of activities through the week where they complete activities in small groups which can be independent or adult led.
Online Maths Games
Ladybird Spots to practise counting, matching and ordering.
Underwater Counting to practise counting a non standard arrangement of objects
Forest School
Every Friday, Holly Leaves have forest school. We love learning outside and have completed a range of activities. These include using tools, digging, painting with mud, climbing the tree, making bug hotels, searching for minibeasts and tracks of different animals.
The children love to learn in variety of ways and thoroughly enjoy the opportunities forest school provides. Children particularly enjoy using tools safely. They have been able to saw wood and using hammers.
Home Learning
In Holly Leaves each child is provided with a exercise book to complete activities at home. Examples of activities can be seen below in the home learning sheet you were provided earlier in the year. We are now sending out spelling sheets for children to practise.  We are really enjoying the learning that is taking place a home with you. Reception children can share their book with the class on a Thursday and
Year 1's
Children have been provided with a home learning book and grid.
Our Outdoor area
During the summer holidays I attempted sourcing equipment to improve our outdoor area. We were very lucky to receive a donation from Travis Perkins in Cinderford. They donated pallets, a sink, a set of taps and tarpaulin. With these resources I was able to build a mud kitchen which the children really enjoy using! We have some other exciting areas including the Busy Board, which have different switches and objects that the children can explore moving. Our outdoor area is still a working project but we love spending time in our Holly Leaves' Garden!
Our Literacy topic for term 1
In Holly Leaves we have looked at the story Leaves. The children have explored this in many ways to internalise the story. We first learnt the story using actions and then created a story map. This is where you write the story using pictures. The children really enjoyed this story! See the video for Jonah retelling the story using the small world table. This was independent and child led which we love seeing in Holly Leaves!
We then moved on to create our own story. The children adapted the story we learnt to create "Fox and the Falling Petals". The story was written together and the children then created individual story maps.
See the video below of the children retelling their story.
This term we are doing Gymnastics. We have learnt a range of different movements, jumps and balances. The children are now working in groups to create a sequence of movements. The children first chose what movements they would like to include in their creation. They then decided on the order that they would like to perform them in. The children are working hard to improve their sequence to perform. I am very impressed with how well they are working with each other.
"Children recognise that a range of technology is used in places such as homes and schools. They select and  use technology for particular purposes."
Children have enjoyed using the tablets to explore different programs. The particular enjoying Paint and using the variety of tools to create a picture of their choice.
Creative Time!
We are encouraging the children to use skills they are learning in Holly Leaves to make things that they can sell at events. For the Christmas service, children made Christmas Tree Decorations out of salt dough and branches. They began by using the saw to cut branches to different sizes in Forest School. Children then used the glue gun to stick the pieces to make a Christmas tree. They then decorated in using different coloured glitter. The children really enjoyed making these and seeing the progress of their creation. They also made the salt dough from scratch and used cutters. We aim to continue this and have lots of ideas to test in the future!
Warm Fuzzies
Children try to earn warm fuzzies (pom poms) to fill a jar. Once the jar is full the children can choose a treat that they would like as a class. We then decide our treat using a voting system to ensure it is fair. The children earn warm fuzzies for making someone proud of them . Warm fuzzies can be given out by anyone, children or adults. The children are now identifying what actions can produce this feeling and are striving to work hard and be polite.
Literacy for Term 2
This term our topic is Pixar. We are currently looking at Inside Out. We have learnt actions to a short Inside Out story and have created our story maps. The children have worked incredibly hard to learn the story and have come up with some brilliant ideas for actions to remember the story. I have been very impressed with their attitude and how quickly they have learnt the story. A video of the story will follow shortly.
Topic for Term 2
We have decided Pixar as our topic for this term. We have started by looking at the story Inside Out. Children are exploring the characters through their learning and activities. Children completed a colour changing activity that was based around the characters. They used great language to explore and predict the changes of colours when mixed. They also used tools to do this to build their fine motor skills.