SEAL New beginnings
As we start the new school year, our SEAL (Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning) theme focuses on New Beginnings.
‘I make someone feel welcome‘ is the first SEAL statement to launch the theme.
New beginnings allows children the opportunity to discuss and reflect on how they or others may feel in a new situation or setting. This SEAL theme offers children the opportunity to see themselves as valued individuals within a community, and to contribute to shaping a welcoming, safe and fair learning community for all.
During the theme, the key areas of learning are empathy, self-awareness, social skills and motivation.
Through discrete SEAL lessons, circle times and across the curriculum, children will explore feelings of happiness and excitement, sadness, anxiety and fearfulness, while learning (and putting into practice) shared models for calming down and problem-solving.
New Beginnings supports the development of a learning community in each classroom where all members feel that they belong. Class contracts, produced at the start of the year, allow children to contribute to how they feel they can achieve a safe and fair learning community.
Just as the summer started, the papers were full of articles about ideal holiday reading for adults and children alike. (I think ideal holiday reading is any reading you want to, whether it’s in the holidays or not!)
How many books has your child read this holiday? More importantly, what sort of discussions have you had with your child about what books you’ve been reading, and of course what they’ve been reading. (I’ve already had chats with Mrs Weekes and Miss Valentine about my summer reading. including a great children’s book, ‘Grace‘ by one of my favourite authors, Morris Gleitzman.)
As we approach the end of the holidays, it’s an ideal time to reflect on what we’ve read – and start the new school year off taking a positive, encouraging approach to your child’s reading.
Encourage your child to read anything and everything: a story, leaflet, brochure, comic, flyer, advert… It could be for pure entertainment, or with a different purpose: to use a recipe, make a shopping list, read street signs, or any kind of text! The more varied reading your child does, the less likely they are to be put off reading a text. Don’t be too pushy either – texts which are too difficult can put children off (harder books might be best left to bedtime reading); all children should be able to read their reading book 90-95% accurately and fluently in order to enjoy and gradually progress in their reading.
- Build reading accuracy – as your child reads aloud, point out words they miss and help them sound out and read them correctly.
- Build reading comprehension – talk with your child about what they’re reading, asking about new words and what new information they’ve learned.
- Read together every day – don’t forget reading aloud to your child at bedtime reading can count, too!
- Don’t overlook non-fiction texts – spend time talking about pictures and diagrams.
- Visit the library regularly – did your child take part in the local libraries’ Summer Reading Challenge (see News article on 13 July 2015)?
- Use the Internet – find out more about the books your child has read or would like to read next, and just enjoy surfing the internet for facts and figures about whatever interests your child.
Enjoyable, regular and short practice is the best way for your child to progress and learn through reading. Make sure your child spends 10-15 minutes reading each day and use the guidance below to ensure (s)he is getting the most from every book they read. The questions will need to be varied according to the book and your child. The book may lend will to developing knowledge, phonic, punctuation, writing or comprehension skills.
Don’t attempt to try to cover all the bullet points! It might be a good idea to focus on just one of these areas every few days or so, or just choose a question from two or three sections.
- Did you enjoy the story – why?
- What happened at the start / in the middle / at the end?
- Was there a problem? How was it resolved?
- How would you have resolved the problem? Can you think of another way?
- What would you do if …
- What was the main idea of the story?
- Can you summarise the story in a couple of sentenced?
- Try to predict what will happen before the story ends.
- Write about a memory or experience of your own that is similar to something you’ve read in your book.
- Write a letter to someone telling them about the book and your opinion of the book.
- Construct a time line to fit the story. Include all the main events
- Who are the characters?
- What do they look like?
- What kind of clothes do they wear?
- How did the character feel when …?
- What kind of mood was the character in?
- What kind of personality do they have? Kind, caring, nasty, bully, liar, friendly, quiet, noisy …?
- What does it say in the text that makes you think this?
- What do other characters think or say about this character? Why do they feel this way?
- How does your character treat other people in the book? How does the character change throughout the story? Explain and give support for your answers.
- Can you re-write the story and include your own character?
- Write a description of the main character – their looks, the way they dress, the way they talk and their personality.
- Draw and label a character or a setting from a description in the book.
- Where is the story set?
- Imagine you are in the story …
- What can you see? What can you hear? What can you small? What can you feel?
- Can you write a description of the story setting using adjectives? eg I found myself standing in the middle of …
- What is the weather like?
- Research the subject further using the internet or local library.
- Write down in your own sentences some facts you have learnt from the book.
- Can you think of anywhere we might be able to find additional information about this?
- What do the pictures or diagrams in this piece of information add to the text?
- How are these different to the pictures you might find in a story?
- Can you point out: a heading, sub-heading, caption, diagram, introduction, contents page etc?
- Why has the author organised the information in this way? (You could refer to sections and sub-sections, bullet points etc)
- How do you feel about …? Can you explain why?
Goodbye for summer
The end of a fantastic year for Year 2 has arrived. It’s been very sad this week to be taking down displays and giving out books to send the class on to Year 3 but very exciting as well. We’re all ready for moving up the school (and a holiday). A big thank you to all the children who have been a pleasure to teach and get to know.
True to last year’s farewell, I’ve prepared a little poem to say something about everybody.
Farewell, Year 2, it’s been a blast.
If only one more year, it could last.
Farai has grown so very tall
and talks so very much about football.
With Kai he talks, who is quite lovely
sitting next to Martha, who’s rather bubbly.
Want to know about space? Ask Ripley.
In a rocket he’ll go. On the moon he’ll be.
To Thomas and Filip you must go,
if you want to be in the know.
Smiles all round from Grace and Mia.
and what a fab year for happy Zia.
Ethan’s always teaching words anew.
Gabs and Noorpreet are children who,
are ready to go straight away
and with anyone caring Pia will play.
Ben, Humairah and Phoebe are sure
to be there for you to open the door.
So polite are Ishaan and Josh,
and all that rhymes with Josh is posh!
Isaiah and Isaac always try their best,
let’s now hear about the rest.
Theo’s jokes make me laugh (and cry),
About hotdogs Dylan talks, day and nigh’.
Ismail’s presence is such a treat,
And next to him – the wonderful Manpreet.
Lewis and Lory have a fab cheeky side,
and Nicky and Albert, how hard they’ve tried.
I’ve never met some one quite so kind,
and Sachpreet, always keeping others in mind.
And Alex I’m left with, so honest and true.
This poem is over. What a relief. Phew!
Have an amazing holiday, everyone. I’ll look forward to seeing you in September.
Summer Reading Challenge 2015
This year, the Summer Reading Challenge returns with the challenge of breaking records!
It’s really simple to join in and complete the challenge. All you have to do is
- Join any Leeds library (including mobile libraries).
- Borrow three books and read them. (You could write a short book review on them too.)
- You can borrow any book: stories, joke books, information books or even audio books.
- Return these (to any Leeds library) and borrow another three books.
- That means you need only borrow six books altogether – or more, of course!
- Once you’ve returned your second lot of three books, your challenge is complete!
We’re hoping to get lots more children taking on the challenge this year and enjoying their reading over the summer. Try not to borrow thick books that you’re never going to finish and make sure you pick books you’re going to be interested in, or, try something new. For any more information, take a look at the leaflet below.
‘The Tiny Seed’ drama
On Friday, Year 2 really enjoyed a drama workshop focussing on the book, ‘The Tiny Seed’. Thank you to Zia’s mum, who organised the workshop for us!
We then became sculptors and clay. The sculptor had to mould the clay into a shoot coming out of the ground and then a fully grown flower.
We played a corners game. When a season was called, we had to go to that season and take on the role of a plant.
Healthy Schools award
Following our School Health check earlier this year, to maintain our Healthy Schools status, we were proud to attend the Healthy Schools celebration event to receive our award. Held in the debating chamber at Leeds Civic Hall, we enjoyed presentations from councillors and other schools around the 4 areas of Healthy Schools – physical activity, PSHE (personal, social and health education), healthy eating and emotional health.
Two of our sports leaders were invited to lead a practical session in the break for other pupils who were attending. They did this with great confidence and encouragement.
As part of the event we also had the opportunity to use the voting system in the debating chamber to vote on key areas across health and wellbeing for councillors to consider on a city-wide strategic level. Based on data from the 2014 My Health My School survey, our current Year 5 and 6 classes will be completing this survey for 2015. The top priorities identified were levels of physical activity and eating 5 a day.
As part of our SEAL theme of Changes, last week our SEAL statement focussed on making healthy changes. Some suggestions from Year 1 include:
- have fruit dessert instead of cake
- do more after-school clubs
- ride a bike more
- walk to the shops instead of driving
- do parkruns with your family
- go roller skating or skateboarding more
- walk to school more
- drink more water
- run somewhere every day
- eat more or different vegetables
- ask to go swimming more
Over the summer holiday there are two cycling events taking place locally.