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Cedar Park School

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Weekly Update 2nd May

Dear Parents,
 
I hope you’ve all had a great week – we’ve been very busy… as usual!
 
In Literacy this week we have based our learning around the book ‘Dear Greenpeace’. The story is written in the style of a series of letters between a little girl and the organisation Greenpeace. The little girl believes she has seen a blue whale in her pond and asks Greenpeace for information. In class the children have learnt about features of a letter, and can now identify the address, greeting, message and ending. In our Big Writing session, the children wrote a letter to Greenpeace (or London Zoo!) to explain that they have seen an unusual animal at home and need some information about it. You might want to watch out over the weekend… we’ve had elephants in the garden, dolphins in the bath tub and monkeys in the kitchen!
 
In Maths this week we have been looking for ‘sneaky steps’ to help us add 10 or 11 to a two digit number. We have used the hundred square to help us look for pathways, and to notice how the tens and units digits may/may not change. For those who needed an extra challenge, we began adding multiples of 10 to two and three digit numbers!
 
During our ‘Wonderful World’ topic lessons the children have been exploring various creation stories including the Christian, Hindu, Muslim and Buddhist views. They have discussed the beliefs of each faith, and have given their own opinions and ideas about how the world may have been created. Next week we will be moving on to our ‘Weather’ unit where we will be exploring seasons, climates and extreme weather.
 
Our sponsored swim on Monday was AMAZING! I am so proud of all of the children for their enthusiasm and efforts. Announcements will be made next week regarding first, second and third place swimmers but in the meantime please do continue to collect the sponsorship money from those who kindly signed up to donate.
 
This week’s homework (in book-bags) is a phonics based activity. Over the past two weeks we have been conducting very informal phonics checks with the children on a 1:1 basis. This is just one of many assessment tools that we use to judge attainment throughout the year, and is good practice for the Phonics Screening Test which is coming up in June. The children are making excellent progress but we have noticed that split digraphs are proving to be a little tricky (especially when reading nonsense words). A split digraph is two letters making one sound, but they are split by another letter in between. E.g. cake – a and e together make the ‘ay’ sound, but are split by the letter k. Hopefully the homework pages will be useful to practise these sounds. As an additional resource I would thoroughly recommend www.letters-and-sounds.com as they have a plethora of resources that can be used at home e.g. flashcards, tricky words and a glossary for terminology that is used. Children should be confident with Phases 1 – 5 (Phase 5 being the trickiest!). I hope you find this website useful – I am already noticing a huge improvement in the children who are using phonics games and resources at home, so practice really does make perfect!
 
I hope you’ve all got lovely things planned for the long weekend – I heard a whisper that the sun might appear on Monday… keep those fingers crossed!
 
Have a great weekend,
 
Miss Freeman
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