Reception Newsletter | Term 2 Week 6

Hello Reception Families,

As always, it’s been another busy fortnight at school. Along with our familiar experiences, we’ve been learning some Jump Jam numbers and joining in with this fun. Our morning class joined the session on the field with support from our Year 6 buddies. Our afternoon class had a special visit from our Year 6 buddies who came and danced with us in class. It’s great to spend time with our buddies and to be building wider school experiences. It was exciting to welcome some parents onto campus today! We really enjoyed showing you around our classroom and sharing our learning and play with you; thank you for coming in. Keep reading to see more of our play and learning.

It has been so exciting to hear stories about letters arriving at home! Students have shared their stories with us at group times and some have shared photos with us too. We have been revisiting our learning around addresses and letterboxes as some photos have shown these details as well. It’s great to see that family members have been a part of this excitement! There have been requests to send letters to many other places, so keep an eye out for where our next letters end up going! Thank you to our families and community for supporting this learning and sharing the excitement with students. 

We are continuing our social learning all the time here at school. Over the past fortnight, we’ve focused on what it means to share in our classroom and the ways that we can include others in our play. We have many dramatic play opportunities such as our kitchen corner, our babies, and dolls’ house play. In these experiences, students are working together to create an imaginary play scenario where each person has a part to play or a role to act. When students have a vision for their play and the world they are creating, it can be hard to include someone who enters the play when it has already started. 

These are great moments for us to encourage students to ask if they can play with their peers, and to encourage those who are playing to expand their game to include newcomers. Prompts such as: “What job could they do in your kitchen?”, or “What can you share with them so they can play here too?” are invitations for students to expand their imaginary worlds. We’ve discussed what it means to feel ‘left out’ and how sharing with our peers can make sure that we all feel included. Developmentally students are moving from associative play (aware of and playing around others with minimal interaction) to co-operative play (playing with others and interested in both the activity and the people engaged in it). A characteristic of associative play can also be the tendency to view friendship as something that can only happen with one person at a time. As these phases of play progress, students add complexity to this thinking and begin to understand that they can play in groups or with different friends at different times. This is a transition filled with social learning and it’s been great to see the growth and progress our students have been making.

Our small group rotation times have been developing as we’ve become familiar with the routines and rhythms. We are using these times to play games that introduce concepts of numeracy, literacy and inquiry. They are also a chance to concentrate specifically on a concept or skill that might be a part of provocation during our free play times. We are looking forward to the continued learning that will happen in these times.

Spotlight on messy play

In an early years classroom there is often a space where something that looks equally like an awful lot of fun and a lot of clean up happening! While we understand that it is fun, it can be hard to see what the learning benefits of these experiences can be. Of course, we should never underestimate the importance of fun and perhaps that is reason enough. However these experiences offer many more learning opportunities. Things like corn flour gloop, soapy water, slime or play-jelly offer students a chance to stop, relax and be present in their environment. These are invitations to play at a slower pace. Students have the opportunity to explore solutions and the properties of materials: is it hard or soft, does it move quickly or slowly, can it be poured or scooped, what happens when it mixes with something else? They can be learning about colour mixing, patterns, design, texture, volume, movement and measurement. Vital physical skills such as hand-eye coordination are developed when practising pouring, tipping, filling, mixing, scooping and beating. Dispositions such as wondering, experimenting, applying past knowledge, and curiosity are being refined. When adults come alongside students in these experiences, rich language moments are possible as students learn new vocabulary, tell stories, or use chants, rhymes and songs with their play. Messy play is an invitation to deep and varied learning. And let’s not forget the opportunity to take responsibility to help tidy up, too!

“Time spent playing with children is never wasted.” – Dawn Lantero

We are looking forward to continuing our learning together over the next few weeks. We will be considering the people in our wider community who help us and the different ways that we can continue building community in our classroom with one another.

Lauren Rosanowski (Reception AM/ Reception PM)

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