It is swimming week. Please ensure your child has everything he or she needs each day. There were no medications listed and I have most of the forms back for the children without which they cannot enter the pool. There are three who have not paid to date so alternative activities will be prepared for them and they will be with an older class for the time we are absent from the school. Although one has filled in the relevant forms, without payment is unable to attend. It is now too late for payment. Please make note of any due dates for future events as late payments will not be accepted and the children will miss out. They will be sent to another class who is not participating at that time, with some work to do. It is quite difficult for those who are excluded as often discussions and follow up activities hurt as they feel they no longer belong. I have sent home reminders but they were not followed up.
Last week the year one children were studying <qu> but most found it very difficult. It is often the way and so cw is used or even kW as they forget the combination. As we are swimming this week I am going to continue with the sound and see if a few more can take it on board. The Receptions, my owlets, have been continuing through the sounds and discovering that they can be combined to make words. Some are more than ready, others are just happy with recognition of individual sounds but not quite ready to combine them. I have been sounding out patterns like p. i. n. and asking them to identify what I mean and a couple can hear the patterns, others eagerly repeat a word they hope it might be but are not in the area at all, and they are all enjoying the songs that go with the Jolly Phonics program.
So far the owlets have been introduced to the sounds s,a,t,p,i,n,ck,e. They have their own pocket of sound cards they can manipulate to make into words and although a couple of children have misplaced one or two, most of the children are carefully caring for them. The year one children who have already been through the program love to sing along when the songs come onto the screen. It’s like a party time, everyone joining in. They all do the actions and I was watching one of the older children working out a word in writing time, using the actions to work out the sounds. Some sound the same like c and k so they are introduced together but as time goes on they learn to discriminate which is the correct for a spelling exercise.
My aim is that the children read everyday and they are remembering to bring their folders each day and putting them in the blue box in preparation. Only about three need a reminder and it is usually because they were distracted by something earlier and missed that step of the routine. Because we have had alterations to the time table to cater for swimming many of the specialist lessons are first thing in the morning. Just for this week.
I do not know how many people are planning to watch the swimming but if you are there are a couple of things you need to be aware of. If you use the canteen it is not allowable for you to buy a treat for the swimming child as none of the others will be getting treats and they are not allowed to eat or drink on the bus. We will be rapidly exiting the pool as the bus is required for another group and it is a very tight schedule. None of the children will be changing at the pool as there are no sufficient spaces or privacy for such a big group, and time restrictions are a big factor. We have been informed that we are not permitted to photograph and would appreciate you refrain too. The instructors are adamant that they are not to be photographed and as the children and other pool users are ‘disrobed’ it is an invasion of privacy too. Please keep this in mind.
I have informed the children that everything MUST be named. This includes towels, goggles, shoes, clothing and the bag they carry everything in. Sounds like over the top but we always return with a couple of children who cannot find their underwear and do not recognize any we may have located. Bathing sets are also lost, as they forget what they were wearing and do not recognize their own belongings. Please help with naming everything so that we can easily return things to the right people.
Swimming week is always stressful in the strangest ways. The children may have fears about the water but this actually acts out in other ways like being unable to put on the seat belt, or scared we’ll miss the bus and even forgetting to collect the bag when getting off the bus. Because we are going in the middle of the day concentration in the academic areas is often down as they are anticipating. I am not expecting massive new learning and that is why I am treating it as a revision week in sounds and words, the familiar being the safer option. New learning will be in water skills and safety, investigation and discovery.
Once more we have a full class as Jessica comes back from her overseas trip and it is a couple of weeks before Ryan heads off on his adventure. Tyler and Vian are settling in well, making friends and working well with other children. The class is made up caring children, cooperative, and taking on more responsibilities. Each child is a competent and capable person and as such are sharing their skills and knowledge with each other. To encourage this even further can I ask that you allow your child to carry his/her own belongings into the classroom, sort them out for themselves and follow the routine, taking ownership of their role. They are quite capable of doing this and it helps with their perception of success.
Do do not forget it is the AGM this Monday night. It would be great to see a lot of parents who are interested in their children’s education and the role the school plays, to attend.