Prep Highlights ~ Term 1

Term 1 – Foundation News – February 2017

Welcome to your first year of schooling at Eltham North Primary School!  The Foundation team are very excited to be sharing this journey with you and we are looking forward to celebrating many milestones with you.  We have been very pleased with the start the children have made to school. They are all settling into the school routine well.

Thank you to all the parents who were able to make it to our picnic and information session last week.  It was a lovely for us to be able to touch base with you in such a relaxed setting.

Listed below is an outline of our term with some suggestions on how you can help support your child.  We realise a lot of information has been presented to you lately so hopefully this will be a useful reference for the term.

COMMUNICATION

We use Compass as our main form of communication however at times there may be a need for a notice to go home, such as book club, art, work or certificates. These will be placed in the green reading bags. The green reader bags are not for written communication to the teacher.  Please communicate with your teacher either personally or via Compass.

INQUIRY UNIT – HOW CAN I BE THE BEST ME?

This Term in Prep students will be learning about themselves and how they will change over time through our inquiry unit “How can I be the best me?” Students will explore what is special about them, how they have changed over time, what they are good at and how to label and manage their emotions.  The unit will end with a celebration on Tuesday 27th March 9:10 – 10:30. An invitation will come out later in the term.  Going home next week will be a show and tell homework task that is linked to our unit.  Your child will be asked to bring in a box with 5 objects that best represent them and their interests.  They will share this with the class.  All details will be on the sheet. 

LITERACY

Children have begun learning about letters and the sounds they make. In Foundation Level, the major focus is sound knowledge (phonemic awareness). Please encourage your child to practise identifying, saying and naming their sounds at home and help them discover words that start with each sound. Your child may also start talking about our codes – this is part of the Write to Read program which is a major component of our Literacy focus. The children learn about the ‘Land of Language’ and that letters make up a range of codes and these codes can make a number of sounds. For example, the letter a is a code which makes 3 sounds (‘a’ as in apple, ‘ay’ as in Amy, ‘ar’ as in palm).

Handwriting is another major focus at the start of the year, in particular establishing the correct pencil grip.  Can you please remind your child to hold their pencil correctly when you see them using a pencil incorrectly.  If you are unsure of the correct pencil grip, please check with your child’s class teacher.

Take home readers and the learning of the 100 most frequently used words will begin later in the term around week 5. You will be advised of the start date for readers via email.  We will send home more information on ways you can help with reading and the learning of the 100 most used words when we are ready to start.

NUMERACY

In Numeracy this term we will focus on number knowledge. We will cover the numbers 1- 10 in great detail as this builds the foundation for future numeracy learning. The children explore and investigate these numbers in a variety of ways with a range of concrete materials to assist in their understanding. We engage in discussions about where we see the number and the ways in which we can show and make the number. You can help your child at home by practising counting different amounts of objects, making sure they understand that one object is one number.   There are many great ways to expose your child to numeracy. For example, cooking at home, talking through measurements or playing card and dice games.

SCHOOL VALUES

We encourage all children to become independent, resilient and caring individuals.  In the classroom, the children will develop a set of class norms, setting out expectations for behaviour - how we like to be treated and how we will treat others. We use a range of programs to help the children develop a range of values and strategies for coping with different situations. One of the strategies we use with the children is for them to stand up to others when they don’t like something, to put their hand out and firmly say, “Stop that! I don’t like it!” We also encourage children to ‘Bounce Back’ when they are upset or something doesn’t go their way and to look at the bright side. Within the Foundation Team we use The Zones of Regulation.  These zones help us name our emotion and find a way to get ourselves into the green zone which is where we learn best.  A copy of the Zones of Regulation is glued in the homework scrapbook.

You may have heard about our school values. These are co-operation, achievement, respect and empathy (C.A.R.E.). They will be discussed in class and incorporated into all areas of our program.

Homework – PLEASE LOOK AT THE TABLE AT THE END OF THIS NEWSLETTER

We expect the children to read at least 5 times a week.  They can read their daily take home reader which is at an easy level.  Please also feel free to enjoy other books with your child.  It is important to read to your child as well as have them read to you.

Readers, 100 most used words, and codes will also be sent home around the end of February - beginning of March for daily practise.

Maths games will also be sent home throughout the term for you to play with your child.

Show and tell will begin week 19th February.  Please check the date given to your child for their show and tell.

Homework is not to be a stressful time so please talk to your classroom teacher if it is causing a problem.

P.E

This term the Preps will be introduced to a variety of basic motor skills, both with and without equipment. We aim to improve their movements in personal and general space and ensure they are having lots of fun. They will also learn lots of new and exciting games such as fruit salad and octopus!

Sarah Van Nieukerk – P.E Teacher

Art and Italian

The two areas that will be covered this term are Drawing and Painting. Students will be given a range of experiences using different drawing mediums. Oil pastels and food dye, fine point markers, crayons and grey leads. Inspired by stories “The Rainbow Fish, Looking for Crabs and Il Pappagallo” students create their art and develop drawing skills.  Portrait drawing will also be done.

Painting is then covered using block watercolours, acrylic paint with filters, cotton buds and brushes. Lines, shapes and patterns will be created using repeated practices.

In Italian, the students will be introduced to the numbers, colours, family members and greetings through stories, songs, games and flashcards.

Ciao Signora Sciola

STEAM

This Semester, Foundation students will participate in a multidisciplinary STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) program. This expanded Science program is highly practical involving lots of hands on experiences, including experiments, design projects and problem solving investigations to discover the science in their lives. The program will draw on real life experiences and link to the classroom integrated unit of work. The Science component will encompass Chemical, Physical, Biological and Earth and Space Sciences. In Biology sessions, students will explore the basic features of living things. The Chemistry unit involves exploration of materials and their observable properties. The influence of seasonal and environmental changes on everyday life is the focus of the Earth and Space Sciences activities. In the Physics unit, students will examine how an object’s attributes can affect movement. The students will then draw on this learning to complete team investigations and a basic design portfolio task.

ASSESSMENT

Our initial assessments involve online Numeracy and Literacy assessments and Phonological Awareness (hearing sounds in words), which we have begun and will continue on the Wednesdays throughout February. These assessments provide us with a base knowledge of your child’s understandings. Please make sure you are on time to these assessments and see your classroom teacher if you need to make a change. Tandy Johnson (Prep Support Teacher) will also be testing all Prep children for auditory processing. Tandy then provides assistance for those children identified from our combined assessments in a small group setting. 

Please be aware if your child is involved in this program, that your child is not considered ‘behind’ however we feel they would benefit from participating in it. At ENPS we are very fortunate to be able to offer this kind of support at such an early stage of the school year.

LIBRARY

Preps visit the library once a week where they will have the opportunity to borrow 2 books. Each classroom has a tub for library bags to be placed once books are ready to be returned. Books may be borrowed for up 2 weeks, however your child will not be able to borrow if they have not returned their book.  If a book is lost or damaged you will be asked to pay for a replacement. The Preps are visiting the library on Tuesday at this stage of the term.

MEDITATION AND THE MORNING DROP OFF

As many of you are aware, the whole school will be meditating from 9 – 9:10, Tuesday to Friday.  The classroom doors will be open to allow children to be unpacked and ready to settle for meditation.  Please be mindful that teachers will not be available to talk to you at this time as they will be actively involved.  We would also like to encourage you from the start, to drop your child/children off at the door, give them a kiss and a wave goodbye.  They can then come in and unpack their own bags and get ready for the day.  Encouraging this habit from the start not only builds independence in your child/children but also helps those children who have difficulty separating in the morning. We would be very grateful if you could assist with this process.

UNIFORM

Children are required to wear school uniform at all times. A school hat is compulsory in Terms 1 and 4 as part of the School SunSmart policy. We have a ‘NO HAT, NO PLAY’ policy. Caps without neck protection are not considered appropriate headwear as they do not have all round sun protection. Hair past shoulder length, must be tied up. This is to discourage the head lice that unfortunately like to visit the Prep classrooms.

SUNSCREEN

You have all had the opportunity to sign permission for sunscreen to be used on your child at school via Compass. The sunscreen is available in the classroom.  Please remember to apply sunscreen before coming to school.

PARENT HELPERS

The Prep classrooms benefit greatly from parental assistance. Parent helpers are involved in activities such as daily reading and/or small group Literacy or Numeracy tasks. At times, you may be asked to assist in other tasks such as laminating or contacting books. To be a parent helper or to assist in any way in the school setting, you must have a ’Working with Children’ check. These forms are available at the post office. When you have your receipt, you will need to provide a copy to the office and notify your classroom teacher.

An email will be sent out shortly asking for parent help. The first 2 hours of the day are most suitable if you are able to come in and help. Classroom help will begin once children are well settled into their routines – we will let you know when this will start. We will also hold a brief information session for you to let you know what’s involved when helping in the classroom. This will be Thursday 23rd February. Please note that it is often very difficult to parent help with a toddler as they often distract the children in the class. It would be greatly appreciated if you could help out at a time when you can come on your own. During parent helping time you may notice the differences between children’s development and personalities, it is very important that if you offer to help, you respect the individual development of each child and act in a confidential way.  If there is anything you feel you need to share, then do so with the class teacher, not other parents.

PARENT REPRESENTATIVES (PARENTS AND FRIENDS ASSOCIATION)

Each classroom across the school has 2 parent representatives who belong to our Parents and Friends Association. Their role involves liaising between teachers and parents from your child’s class, providing assistance to the teacher to organise small tasks and organising class get-togethers once per term. You will be hearing from your representatives over the next few weeks. 

NUDE FOOD

Just a reminder that ENPS has a rubbish-free policy. Please ensure your child brings food to school with minimal packaging. Any packaging will be sent home with your child to therefore reducing the amount of rubbish within the school.

LUNCH ORDERS

Lunch orders are placed online via the Classroom Cuisine Website. Visit the website and register, making sure to select our school. Orders need to be placed by 8:30am on the day of the lunch order and a confirmation email will be sent. Lunch orders are on Mondays and Wednesdays and any packaging will be sent home as part of ENPS’s rubbish-free policy.

**Please note that you will still need to send a fruit snack and recess for your child as the lunch orders arrive at lunchtime**

Classroom Cuisine Website - www.classroomcuisine.com.au

ALLERGIES

Please be aware we have a number of children with significant allergies. If you send your child to school with egg or nut products please inform your classroom teacher. Please make your child aware that we do not share food at school - only on a special occasion such as a birthday. Please note that you have been asked to sign a permission slip allowing your child to participate in celebrations that involve food.

PROCEDURES

§  The first point of call for any issues or concerns involving your child is the classroom teacher/s. If the issue/concern cannot be addressed, the next point of contact is Mrs Janine Tucker (Prep Co-ordinator) followed by Mr. David Foley (Principal) or Mr Stephen Hayes (Assistant Principal).

§  Students should not be dropped at school before 8.40am. If you need to have your child at school earlier please use our Out of Hours School Hours Program. Those children who are in the yard before 8.40am will be sent to Out of Hours School Care. Please register your child for OHSC if you think that you will need this service, even on a one off basis.

§  If you are running late to pick up your child please contact the school and we will arrange for him/her to attend Out of Hours School Care.

§  Please be punctual as this allows our program to run effectively. The music is played at 8.55am to provide students time to be ready for a 9am start.  We understand that circumstances may arise that cannot be helped but we do ask that students who arrive at school after 9am be signed in at the office and obtain a late pass.

§  If your child is absent from school, their absence must be approved on Compass.

§  Please be mindful of what your child brings to school. The school discourages and is not responsible for loss / damage of valuable items. Students are responsible for any toys brought to school (please note, no electronic games are to be brought to school)

CONTACT DETAILS

The Prep teachers have an open door policy and we will make every effort to speak to you personally. If you require more than a quick chat, please talk to us or email us to make a time so we can sit together without disruptions.

Rachel McGregor  Prep A           mc.gregor.rachel.s@edumail.vic.gov.au

Janine Tucker Prep B                  tucker.janine.k@edumail .vic.gov.au

Rachel Hanslow- Sells Prep C     hanslow-sells.rachel.r@edumail.vic.gov.au

Hayley Reynolds   Prep C           reynolds.hayley.l@edumail.vic.gov.au

Nadia Bovalino Prep D               bovalino.nadia.n@edumail.vic.gov.au

Alicia Scott Prep D                     scott.alicia.a@edumail.vic.gov.au

Term 1 Expectations

Show and tell homework

What things would you put in a box that best describe you?

To help your child collect 5 things about themselves that they can share with the class.  Practise sharing these at home first.

Bring in your show and tell on your given date.

Reading ~ Green Reading Folders coming home with a poetry booklet on the letters of the alphabet. This poetry booklet will be replaced with their reader 26th Feb.

Read the poems with your child looking at the poems linked to the letters of the week.

Develop a nightly reading habit where you read, fill in the yellow book and put the reading folder back in the school bag.  Readers will start 26th Feb

100 most used words ~ For the child to practise the words in their scrapbook until they have automatic response or these words out of order.  These will be tested on a regular basis and a new level given when we feel they have mastered their current level.

To practise nightly the words that are glued in their homework book.  Please make sure the scrapbook is kept in their green reader folder so we can glue their certificates in and the next set of words.

Code Sheet ~ To practise the codes and the sounds they make. The code sheet is in the scrapbook with the words. To practise nightly the sounds that have been taught on the code sheet.     2- 3 times during the term

Maths ~ A maths game sheet will be glued into the scrapbook for playing.  Play the game with your child.

Welfare ~ A copy of the Zones of Regulation for reference is glued in the homework book.  You can use this to help your child name and regulate their emotions.

Mathletics ~ This is a website where children can go on to develop their numeracy skills.  Every child in the school has an access code.  The code is glued inside their homework scrapbook.  It is up to you how often you would like to use this program in the Prep Years.

This is a website where children can go on to develop their numeracy skills.  Every child in the school has an access code.  The code is glued inside their homework scrapbook.  It is up to you how often you would like to use this program in the Prep Years.

Letter and Number focus for the week

We are looking forward to a great first term!

Janine Tucker, Rachel McGregor, Rachel Hanslow-Sells, Alicia Scott and Nadia Bovalino