# Let's Celebrate - Diwali

Our celebration this week was Diwali, the Festival of Lights. But through the week we also prepared paintings and poppies for Remembrance Day on Friday. We held our handmade poppies as we observed a two-minute silence during a school Remembrance assembly. To help us understand why we do this, we watched the CBeebies poppies animation and listened to the beautiful story Where the Poppies Now Grow by Hilary Robinson.

To learn about the celebration of Diwali, we have shared the stories of Binny's Diwali and the Lighting of the Lamp. We also heard the ancient story of Prince Rama and his wife, Sita which is celebrated each year at Diwali. We have retold this story on our smallworld, and have constructed palaces for Rama and Sita to live in. We re-enacted a Diwali home celebration in our roleplay.

It has been a colourful week, as we created vibrant rangoli patterns with pastels and chalks, mandalas with playdough and seeds, drawn mehndi patterns on hand outlines and modelled diya lamps with playdough and clay. This was our first messy adventure with clay.

On our writing table, we drew pictures of fireworks and wrote sentences about our firework experiences. We wrote and coloured Diwali cards to our friends and thought carefully about where our letters start and finish as we continued our letter formation progress.

In phonics, we began the phase 3 group of sounds. We started the week with a jammy j, then a v with violet paint and a vegetable, painted a white w on a window wearing a wig, and on Thursday wrote x on a box. The new sounds were added to keyrings on Friday. Please keep practising the sounds keyrings at home each day. This will help your child consolidate their learning.

In maths, the Bears continued their engagement with activities that underline the purpose of counting - to find out 'how many' objects there are altogether. We are reinforcing our understanding that the last number in a count tells us 'how many' and we have practised our 1:1 correspondence skill, by counting numbers at the same time as moving or touching objects. Our key focus has been to deepen our understanding of 5 as a quantity, by linking the number to the 5 fingers on one hand.

We had an exciting Thursday afternoon, as we made our first visit to the copse for outdoor learning. This week was lots of exploring and the Bears loved it! Searching for acorns, tree hugging oak trees and playing in the mud kitchen. More adventures to come!

Next week, we celebrate birthdays with the much loved character Kipper.