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D R A G O N S T O D AY S P R I N G 2 0 1 6

More formally, every sound that children

learn they then practise forming in writing

in the same session, before it is reinforced

throughout the curriculum. We teach a

cursive script, which has proved helpful

in giving children the confidence to start

writing every letter on the line. A pinch

and rest ‘tripod’ grip on the pencil is

encouraged to give the script strength and

stability and those who need support with

fine motor skills receive extra help from the

Learning Support department.

Less willing children are encouraged to

have a go at writing through a phonetic

approach using access tools such as

alphabet and sound strips, ‘tricky word’

displays around the classroom and, during

more formal writing activities, are given

‘scaffolding’. This involves sharing what

they want to write with their teacher,

who draws lines of appropriate lengths to

accommodate each word. Gradually the

scaffolding becomes redundant. As the

child’s confidence and ability strengthen,

the independent writer emerges.

Parents have a big part to play in helping

their offspring develop literacy skills: sound

cards and activities can be practised, books

shared and discussed and constant two-way

communication between home and school

is encouraged.

When children move up into Year 1, the

momentum started in Reception expands

into further phonic, spelling and guided

group reading sessions. Handwriting

becomes more consistently joined as the

year progresses and children become more

confident and fluent readers.

At Lynams we recognise that achieving a

balance between challenge and success

is critical to learning; our School ethos

is to support and encourage children to

develop a love of reading, understand

what they have read and be able to express

their wonderfully creative thoughts and

burgeoning personalities on paper.


Diwali was an opportunity for Reception to learn about the

Hindu faith and to take part in different activities involved

in celebrating this exciting festival. In November, 2015,

children made delicious raita dip from yogurt and cucumber,

and they put their artistic skills to work to create some rangoli

patterns and made diva lamps by modelling clay with their

thumbs. We finished the celebrations with a ‘light walk’ down

a line of twinkling diva lamps.


As part of their Superhero theme for the first half

of term, Year 1 looked at real life superheroes.

Two members of the Oxford Police Department

came and spoke to the children about the

importance of the police and the types of jobs

they do. The children asked lots of questions

about how the officers catch criminals and even

got to speak to someone at the Police Station

over the officer’s radio.

Children also visited Kidlington Fire Station to learn about fire safety and how fire

fighters use different equipment to fight fires and rescue people. The children were shown

the parts of a fire engine and were allowed to sit inside one, to see what it’s like for the

fire fighters to ride to an emergency. The highlight of the trip was to test their fire-fighting

strength by spraying one of the powerful fire hoses.

Both experiences helped the children to see that there truly are people in our

community who are real life superheroes.


Year 2 embraced their new topic ‘Country File’ with huge excitement on their trip to

Wittenham Clumps, this term.

Children planted seeds, rolled oats, made buttermilk and butter from cream and

learnt how to milk a cow. After a picnic, we had time to play in the ‘mud kitchen’;

creating all sorts of delicious combinations. We explored the hills to view the

surrounding countryside and found out that fields which were brown were not in fact

growing chocolate or coffee, but had recently been harvested. The day finished with

creating clay creatures in the woods and working co-operatively in groups to build

dens. A great time was had getting to know both teachers and new friends.


Year 3 presented a large cheque, both in size and value, to Heather Tarplee from

Farms for City Children. Last summer, when they were in Year 2, children raised

money by organising a Swap & Buy sale. They made their own products to sell,

created a poster to advertise their goods

and made bunting to decorate their stall.

They found out that many children

who live in cities have never played in

fields or visited animals in their natural

environment. Farms for City Children

enables these children to have the

opportunity to spend a week on a farm

looking after animals, harvesting and

cooking the crops and enjoying the

great outdoors.