Welcome to Ducklings
The Ducklings is our Reception EYFS class for children who will have their 5th birthday in the academic year between 1st September and the 31st August. All the children start school together in September, with an option to go home at lunchtime until Christmas. By January all pupils are full time. There is a maximum of 30 children in the class with 3 members of staff every morning and 2 every afternoon.
The Ducklings have a rich and exciting curriculum with weekly visits to the local woodlands for an entire morning, or to a local care home to learn alongside their 'older friends' for an afternoon. They go on frequent trips further afield, visiting farms, museums, churches, theatres, parks and finally the seaside for a family day out at the end of the year. We are firmly of the belief that learning does not have to take place in the classroom and we embrace the outdoor life, whatever the weather!
The Ducklings are very much a part of the wider school, and the whole school trip in their second or third week of school gives them and their families a sense of being a real member of the St. Michael's community. We welcome parents and grandparents into the Ducklings classroom at all times and on our many trips.
The Ducklings receive a letter from a buddy in Year 5 before they start school and their buddy greets them and plays with them on their summer afternoon visit to the school. The relationship continues to flourish as they meet the again on the first day of school and know that they always have someone to look out for them in the playground.
Ducklings is an exciting but safe place for the children and their parents to flourish and form friendships to last a lifetime. Our children make excellent academic progress and most of all enjoy their childhood.
We were delighted to welcome all the Ducklings back to school on March 8th and have been so impressed by how quickly they have settled back into school routines. The children were clearly thrilled to see each other and old friendships have been rekindled and new ones established.
We are putting lots of energy into reading at the moment, boosting confidence and working on speed and fluency. It is amazing how quickly the children are improving and a testament to all the hard work put in at home with their parents during the 8 weeks of Home Learning.
We are also working hard on storytelling, as without developing the confidence, vocabulary and narrative skills of oral storytelling, the progression to writing stories is so much harder. We make up stories wherever we are and the picture below shows a session in the woods where we found a mysterious 'Sackful of Stories' containing all sorts of interesting objects to incorporate.
We have also thrown ourselves into The Great British Art Project and have been learning about LS Lowry and his painting "Coming From the Mill". We started by asking the children to name the painting, before they knew anything about it and their excellent suggestions can be seen around our picture below. Whilst learning about Lowry's painting style the children have also been finding out about life in a mill city in 1930. They have learnt about conditions in the mills, and the very basic housing conditions that the workers experienced. The outdoor toilets caused particular interest! The children have been producing their own Lowry style paintings as well as creating 3D Lowry houses and those famous 'matchstalk men and matchstalk cats and dogs" whilst listening to the song of that name.
After months of freezing our way through Lockdown School we have been enjoying the warmer weather and the children have been enjoying getting out in the garden, climbing trees and riding scooters as much as possible. It is these shared experiences with friends which are every bit as important as the academic side of life to children's development and we make every opportunity for the children to build on their social skills.
You might find these books helpful at home:
Usborne Wipe clean lower case letters
Usborne wipe clean 3 letter words to copy
Class Teachers: Mrs Gill Evans
Support Staff: Mrs Erica Malone Mrs Mandy Bearman Mrs Philippa Hall Mrs Newman Mrs Richardson
PE Teacher: Mr Louis
Volunteer Helper: Mrs Dorothy Hill