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Junior Department Notices and Reminders

Open Classrooms 

You are warmly invited to come and look around the Junior Department on Thursday 16 March from 0815-0915.


As stated on our Uniform list children in the Junior Department are not permitted to wear jewellery to school, this includes earrings, except with the permission of the Head of Junior Department. Please could I ask that you remove these at home as they are easily lost if we have to do it at school.

Message from Mrs McIntosh

“You are never too old, too wacky, too wild, to pick up a book and read to a child.” 

Dr. Seuss 

Thank you for taking the time to come to Parents’ Evenings this week. I hope you found them useful and that you enjoyed looking at your child’s books too. It is always lovely to have an insight into what your children have been doing and to see how much they fit in to their week and how they are progressing. Of course, the consultations and the books can only give you a flavour of all that happens here on a day-to-day basis. I only wish you could be a fly on the wall to see what amazing lessons, assemblies and other varied opportunities the children’s days are filled with. 

Of course, the highlight of the week was World Book Day yesterday. The children (and staff) all looked spectacular and I enjoyed guessing who they all were. As you noticed when you came in for Parents’ Evening this week, I’m sure, we have decorated each classroom door as a book and the children loved seeing them take shape and are proud of the door to their own classroom, chatting animatedly about them still. Thanks to the teachers and TAs for running with the idea so creatively. Our librarians have written about the power of reading and I want to thank them for all that they do not only for World Book Day but also throughout the course of the year in inspiring the children to read and love books.   

To that end, I thought I would just share with you 10 of my favourite picture books (it was very hard to whittle it down to just 10!)  

  • The Chimpanzees of Happytown by Giles Andrae and Guy Parker-Rees 
  • The Colour Monster by Anna Llenas
  • The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister 
  • Some Dogs Do by Jez Alborough 
  • Albert le Blanc by Nick Butterworth 
  • The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Dewalt 
  • Lost and Found by Oliver Jeffers 
  • Cleversticks by Bernard Ashley 
  • Supertato by Paul Linnet and Sue Hendra 
  • The Whale Song by Dyan Sheldon 

Mrs McIntosh
Head of Junior Department

World Book Day

Beechwood is always a reading school, but never more so than during World Book Week. This week we have all decorated doors to look like books, enjoyed the World Book Day Sale, book quiz and reading activities, dressed up as book characters and “Dropped Everything and Read”.

Parental involvement in a child’s reading is hugely important and a child reading regularly with an interested adult has many benefits. We are very appreciative of the huge level of parental support we receive at Beechwood. Studies show that reading for pleasure is a greater determinant of a child’s educational attainment than their social or economic background. The benefits of regular reading with a child include supporting their cognitive development, improving their language skills and increasing their concentration as well as enhancing their imagination and creativity. Put simply, children who read, succeed.

In school we hear the Junior Department children read several times a week using our wide range of reading scheme books. We also regularly read to the children and enjoy books across all areas of the curriculum including topic, drama, PE and PSHE. Our aim is to nurture and embed an enthusiasm for and love of reading in all our children. We believe that EVERYONE can be a reader. Some just haven’t yet found the right book to light the spark. That doesn’t mean they are non-readers – it just means they need help to find it.

With this in mind, each child also has a focussed Library lesson each week with an engaging story time or topical discussion of books linked to current affairs. The children also borrow from a wealth of age appropriate bright and engaging picture books, early readers, chapter books and advanced readers.

However, with all we do at Beechwood to support the children’s reading, the importance of your role as parents in their reading development should not be underestimated. There are many ways you can enhance your child’s enjoyment of reading. Independent reading, sharing books with you or another child, discussing the book and checking their understanding are all valuable. But above all, reading should be fun!

In Reception we started the week by bringing our favourite book in to school and we have enjoyed sharing these and voting for our favourite. It’s given us all a reminder of how magical reading is! We also loved dressing up as our favourite character and writing a character description about ourselves (always remembering A. ✋) We really are a year group of book worms now.

Year 1 used the book ‘Charlie Cook’s favourite book’ by Julia Donaldson to explore all the different types of books that there are and which types are our favourites. Some of us preferred story books (fiction) while others enjoyed learning facts from information books (non-fiction). We had a great time making book covers for our favourite book and also made our own bookmarks to use every day when reading and to remind us of the fun we had!

Year 2 kicked off the week with their wonderfully prepared favourite book talks, speaking confidently and clearly in front of the class. Another highlight was creating a multiple-choice quiz about popular Year 2 books. We had great fun answering these by holding up A B C cards.  The children have also designed and coloured their own book worms for our new window displays. The love of reading that is clearly developing across Year 2 has delighted the teachers!

The Library Team

Junior Dept World Book Day