The Owlets Class Page

Summer 2 Newsletter

Dear Parents/Carers,

I hope you made the most of the beautiful sunshine during the holidays and had a lovely break. Thank you to those who attended our celebration assembly at the end of last half term. I was so proud of all the children, remembering their lines, singing beautifully and enjoying every minute of showcasing their hard work.

During this final half term our topic will be ‘Minibeast Madness.’  Here we will be exploring creepy crawlies and small creatures you may find in the garden. Firstly will be learning about habitats and going on welly walks to see if we can spot some. We will be exploring how different mini beasts like different environments and even try to make some of our own for the garden.  We will also be exploring how creatures change during life cycles, and even will be experiencing this first hand by observing caterpillars growing and changing before releasing them into the wild.

This half term is an extremely busy one with our trip to the butterfly house on Thursday 15th June, sports day on the 16th (weather permitting) and the transitions weeks which start the 3rd of July where children will be visiting their new class so that they can get to know their new teacher and get used to their new structure. This may be a little unsettling for some the children however we will do lots of circle times to try and make this as smooth as possible for both them and also you. If you have any questions about this then please don’t hesitate to ask.

We are continuing with Phase 5 this half term, where more alternative sounds for phonemes already learnt will be introduced. The children have picked this up very well so far and have impressed me by asking me which spelling of the sounds they need in their writing.  Please refer to the little bookmark I sent home recently for more information about this as well as to help your child consolidate these.

Our main focus in Literacy this half term will be looking at non-fiction books once again, however we will concentrate on using the language included in such books. The children will continue to use the ‘talk 4 writing’ methods of boxing up and adding actions to help the children internalise this new vocabulary.

We will be continuing to encourage children to write sentences independently and have a focus on handwriting to get letters clearly formed ready for their next school year.  Some children are continuing to need lots of support when writing. Please can I ask that you encourage as much independence as possible when completing their home learning tasks. If they constantly ask you what sound is next, re-direct the question to them and don’t fall into the trap of accidently giving them all the answers. This will help them greatly. Also once your child has done some writing, if you ask them to read over their work, this will encourage them to evaluate their work and add in anything they realise they have missed. This will once again help make the transition into year 1 far easier.

We have returned to school learning all about Money, here we will be learning how to recognise and identify coins using their size, shape and colour, before looking into the concept of value. We will then move on to time.  

When looking at time we will begin with learning the days of the week and moths of the year, before using different methods to measure time, such as stop watches, sand timers and then clocks.

In order to help your children at home here are a number of ideas you could do;

  • Ask children to sort a pile of coins into 1ps, 2ps 5ps etc to help them learn the properties of the money.
  • Set up a pretend shop.
  • Allow them to hand over coins when in shops and look at price tags when you are out.
  • Put coins in a bag, ask children to close their eyes and choose one and then they have to tell you what it is. You could then have a turn and get it wrong so they have to correct you.
  • Look at arrows on a clock.
  • Time how long it takes for your child to do things for example get dressed or how many star jumps they could do in a minute (or tidy their room!!)

Please ensure that your child has appropriate summer kit as it is getting warmer as I don’t want children to overheat in tracksuits. This will also be needed for sports day, including appropriate footwear for grass.

Children have continual access to the outside area so please ensure that sun cream is applied daily and that your child brings a named hat to school. If children do not have sun cream on, I will have to limit their outdoor time to ensure they are safe. Please can I also ask that a water bottle is brought in daily as many children do not have them.

Butterfly House
I am very excited about the school trip next week, however not all permission slips have been returned. If your slip is not retuned, your child will not be allowed on the trip. Please ensure they are handed to me no later than Friday.

Barlborough’s got talent
Every year the Year 6 cohort organise a talent show. We will be holding in class auditions to see which act will perform in the show in the last few weeks of school. If you want to start practicing and putting together an act then this would be fantastic. We won last year so I want some very creative performances…no pressure parents! 

I will let you know when the in class auditions are so that costumes and props can be brought in.

Summer Fair
The PTA have been busy organising the summer fair for Saturday 24th June. It would be lovely to see lots of you there.

Passport Target
This half term we will be focusing on…

The passports will be continued into Year 1 so that the children can remain working on these.

Thank you for your continued support,
Miss Jolly


Topic Web Summer 2: Minibeast Madness

Click to download and view our topic web, with all the exciting things we'll be learning this term:

Busy Owls...

Although this has been a fairly short half term, The Owlets have been extremely busy and worked very hard to develop their knowledge about many new concepts. I am extremely proud of their positive work ethic and their natural curiosity which drives their independent learning forward.

Well done everyone.

Summer 1 Newsletter

Dear Parents and Carers,
I hope you all had a restful Easter break and are looking forward to beginning the last full Term in Owlets Class.  This half term our topic is ‘Commotion in the Ocean.’ We will be exploring the enchanted depths of the ocean and learn about some animals who live here.

We will start by looking at rhyming words that appear in stories and poetry as I have noticed that some children find this particularly difficult. We will then use the talk 4 writing method shown during a Literacy morning to explore the story ‘The Whale Song’ where the children will learn about settings. Here we will be looking at describing the settings used in the story before moving on to creating our own magical sea sceneries.   In the final weeks we will then move onto exploring at non-fiction texts to gain information and facts from these. We will be learning about the features of these books (for example contents and index pages) and will be creating our very own pages to create a class book.

The children will be working towards writing one or more full sentences this half term. The children should now be at the stage of including finger spaces, capital letters and full stops regularly, with many words spelt phonetically and most tricky words spelt accurately.  To entice your children to practice this at home you could introduce a special writing pen that they only get out when they want to practice their writing.

If you are struggling to get your child to have a go at writing independently, when they ask you what comes next if you respond “What do you think?” This often encourages them to engage as chances are, they will actually know!

I hope you are finding my videos on the school website a useful learning tool for yourself and your children. They are fantastic in providing you with an understanding of how to pronounce each sound correctly and also how we write each letter using our pre-cursive writing. 

In the next few weeks we will finish Phase 4 of Letters and sounds and will be moving on to Phase 5 when I feel the children are ready. Here they will learn some alternate ways of writing some sounds for example if we take the sound ai (rain) this can also be written as a (race) ay (delay) etc. I will provide more information about this when we reach this stage and also provide more bookmarks with the new word lists.

Many children are sight reading most of the high frequency and tricky words now and quickly notice repeated words in books. I have had a number of parents telling me that they have displayed these words around the house so that children constantly see them. This is a fantastic way to develop their sight reading.  Please practice reading their books as many times as you can throughout the week and continue to ask the children questions about what has happened in the text or to predict what events may happen next, who might they meet next, what do you think you could change the title of the book to? This will continue to develop their language comprehension skills.  You could even use a bit of the ‘talk 4 writing’ methods we use to develop vocabulary and ask children to create story maps about the narrative and get them to act this out.

This half term we are focusing on Shape, Space and Measure again, this time we will be learning about length, height, capacity and weight. The children will be working towards being able to use language associated to all of these things competently (for example length- long/short, height-tall/small, capacity- full/empty/cupful’s and weight-heavy/light) We will be using many methods to explore how we measure these things. There are lots of ways you could practice this at home too. When weighing out ingredients ask your child to help and discuss grams, when in the bath see how much water different containers hold or use a tape measure to measure the size of their favourite toys.  We will be continuing to order numbers to 20 and beyond, say one more than/one less than a number and complete simple operations during starters.

Outdoor Area
I am looking for some wooden tree stumps and wooden discs to use in the outside area to support children’s learning. If you know of anyone who may be able to help locate some please let me know. Can I also remind you that children should not play in this area before or after school. 

Passport Targets
Most children have completed all of stage 1 passport targets and are on stage 2. This half term we will focus on “saying please and thank you.”

Other Information

  • We will be practicing ball skills and gymnastics during PE this half term.
  • As the weather is getting warmer we advise that the children bring in named summer hats and have sun cream applied before school as and when needed.
  • The provisional date for sports day is Friday 16th June, weather dependent. This takes place in the afternoon on the field behind the school. You are welcome to bring chairs or blankets to sit on.
  • There will be a celebration assembly taking place for the class this half term- Dates will be announced soon.
  • I have arranged a trip to the Butterfly house for next half term. Please check book bags in the next few weeks to find out more information about this.

Thank you to Mrs Dixon for offering support with readers this half term. We greatly appreciate your help.

If you have any questions then please do not hesitate to ask,
Miss Jolly

Topic Web Summer 1: Commotion In The Ocean

Click to download and view our topic web, with all the exciting things we'll be learning this term:

Spring 2 Newlsetter

Dear Parents/carers,

I hope you had a lovely break and are ready for another busy half term in the run up to Easter. Last term the children continued to surprise me with their thirst for knowledge, their independence and also how well their critical thinking skills are developing through their curiosity and questioning.

In Spring 2 our topic is Superheroes to the rescue, where we will focus on fictional texts and use ‘Talk 4 Writing’ to explore characters in stories. The story we will base this around is ‘Eliot the midnight superhero.’  As you have seen, there has been a superhero invasion in our classroom! It appears that evil superhero Doctor Web is trying to recruit other baddies, so we will be unite and learn how to be goodies to defeat him!

We will be looking at all of the characteristics that these superheroes need as well as their unique features so that the children can create their own superhero identity. We will then put together our costumes and superpowers to come together for a fashion show which you will be invited to. More details on this will follow in a few weeks.

Towards the end of the term we will also look at Easter and the celebrations surrounding this time. This will begin by learning about Shrove Tuesday, where we will make our own tasty pancakes, before competing in a pancake race! The children will then explore the Easter story and take part in some familiar customs such as making chocolate nests, decorating Easter eggs and going on an egg hunt.

Some of the class has now finished phase 3 and are starting on phase 4. In this phase the children will not learn any new sounds, but they will be learning how to use the sounds to write CVCC words and polysyllabic words (words with more than one syllable) such as farmyard. Some of the class will be recapping the phase 3 sounds to help to consolidate their learning as some of the trigraphs ( 3 letter sounds eg ‘igh’) are a little difficult to remember.  Any work you can do with them at home to help those who may need a little extra support would really help your child to become more confident in this.  Phase 4 Phonic book marks have also been sent home this week.

Reading Books
The children’s confidence in reading has grown considerably last half term with many of them now sight reading common words as well as those that are tricky, and also happily segmenting unfamiliar words.  Reading books will continue to be changed on a Monday as it allows enough time to revisit the text a number of times to build the children’s comprehension skills as well as their reading.

I have had a number of parents concerned that their child is a little reluctant to read at home. This is very common however it is vital that you try to entice them to do so to continue their development and try to create a love of reading as reading is the foundation of all learning in Early Years. There are many ways you can do this without them knowing, for example get them to choose a reading buddy. This is a toy which is only allowed to come out if they child reads to that toy, then they can play with it for a short while afterwards. Encourage them to read to their pets, siblings or even a group of teddies. Use the torches we gave you at Christmas. Try asking them to read each page in a funny voice. You could even act out the pages when their have read it.  The more fun, energetic and discrete you make it, the more they will want to do!

In our Literacy lessons, the children will continue applying their learning from our daily Letters & Sounds sessions through a guided literacy activity once a week and then independently during the Wonderful Writing task. This half term will focus on using dazzling describing words to define characters, write letters to superheroes and create a cunning name for their heroes.

Most children have grown in confidence greatly with their writing and are enthusiastic about doing it to a high standard. It is lovely to see them beaming with pride when they have completed it and remembered all of the key features such as capital letters and finger spaces. I can see those who complete their home learning tasks regularly and with little support are absolutely flying with their writing, so thank you so much for supporting their learning at home.

I have included below some examples of the writing to show where I would expect children to be at this time in the school year.   If you think your child finds certain elements of writing difficult then please come and see me and we can support them with this together.

We will be focusing on the number again this half term, this time exploring problem solving. This will look at adding totals, subtracting, doubling and halving. They will also continue to look at ordering numbers to 20 or beyond as well as one more than and one less.  Some children are finding the numbers 12,13,14 and 15 difficult to remember when counting or ordering so this will be the main focus with starters during lessons as well as with home learning tasks set.

If you would like to help your children develop such skills at home, here are a few ideas to try;

  • Sharing out food between you and your child, showing them that you must both have the same. Start by counting out your starting total and then  giving “one for you and one for me” until you have equal amounts before reinforcing that half of your starting number is what you have in your pile.
  • Double the spots on a ladybird’s wing, emphasising that when we double it has to be the same number on each side before they want to be friends and counted together.
  • Doubling the total number of their favourite food!
  • Looking at and drawing the symbols for add, subtract and equals.
  • There is also a fantastic and catchy song here to sing;

Passport Target
Children tried very hard with trying to solve issues without arguing and used many different techniques to overcome these, for example compromising, talking about the issue or walking away. This half term we will be focusing on taking turns when playing a game, as this can often be difficult when lost in the excitement.

A few further pieces of information:

  • We are still in need of some parent helpers who would be available to come in for maybe even an hour a week to hear some readers.
  • Well done to all those who have been putting stickers on your reading spines, it appears lots is taking place at home.
  • Please can I remind packed lunches to include a balanced and healthy meal as we are a healthy school.
  • Also a big thank you to those who have been supplying our junk modelling table with lots of goodies, the children have loved getting extra creative with these. 

Topic Web Spring 2: Superheroes

Click to view and download this term's topic web, with all the exciting things we'll be learning this term:

Chinese New Year

On Friday we had so much fun learning about the traditions during the celebration Chinese New Year. We explored using their letters to write our names, using chop sticks to pick up food and even got to try some delicious Chinese Treats.

We even had fun learning how to count to 5 using the Chinese Language.

Please watch the video to see our busy day.

Newsletter: Spring 1 2017

Dear Parents and Carers,

I hope you had a lovely Christmas and wish you all a Happy New Year. I am extremely proud of the children for their enthusiasm and confidence during the Nativity play, it is evident that they have progressed greatly already since starting school in September.  

This half term our topic is ‘Real Life Superheroes.’ Here the children will explore lots of different occupations and discover their roles in helping us. We will split the topic into areas such as People who help us; at home, at school, stay healthy, get food and keep safe. In the final week of this topic we will then look at what the children would like to be when they grow up! This will be celebrated with a “When I grow up” dress up day where the children will be invited to dress up as the occupation they would like to do when they grow up.  I am also looking to invite people of different occupations in to class in order to talk about their roles and develop the children’s questioning skills.

English (Communication, Language & Literacy)
We will be focusing on looking at non-fiction texts this half-term. Here we will be exploring how these differ from picture books and identifying some of their key features. We will also include the talk4writing practice that some of you witnessed when you visited during the Literacy morning. This encourages children to organise facts as well as language used when writing them down.

The children will be encouraged to use full sentences when writing and break their flow of speech into words. We will be looking for them to use capital letters, finger spaces and full stops, so any support at home with this would be very useful. 

The children will be given a range of opportunities to utilise these skills this half term in a range of activities such as creating posters to promote helpfulness at school or writing about what a doctor might need in their bag.  The children will also be completing a weekly independent writing activity to further develop their confidence to form sentences and words using their own knowledge as some of the children have become extremely reliable on adult presence when writing, and are reluctant to have a go. We have tried this out last term and it has been extremely successful and the progress made already has been amazing.

We are continuing with Phase 3 of letters and sounds this half term were children will continue to pick up new digraphs (2 letters which make one sound eg ai as in r/ai/n .) They will also be introduced to trigraphs, (3 letters which make 1 sound eg igh as in t/ight/t) new tricky and HFW and also encourage the blending and segmenting of CVCC words (as in frog).

It is vital that children practice their reading and writing at home as well as school as it consolidates their understanding and also heightens their confidence. Also please may I express the importance of letting the children use their robot talk to isolate each sound in a word independently, and not being given a word to copy as this makes them reluctant to have a go on their own and hinders their progress. I can often tell which children are reliant on their parents for this when it comes to writing in school. Please can I also encourage the use of cursive letters in all writing otherwise it will confuse children in the future if they are swapping.  

It has been lovely to see how many children have embraced the ‘Reading Stars’ and how excited they become when placing a sticker next to their name.

Shape will be our focus this half term where the children will be looking at repeating patterns first, before moving into identifying 2d and 3d shapes and their properties. Although main teaching and activities will have this focus, we will still incorporate daily number starters and focus on this in Friday maths lessons to ensure the children’s number sense continues to develop. To support your child in this area you could begin to look at shapes in the environment and allow them to play and construct with various shaped items to make images and models to develop their understanding of tessellation and edges.  Please note I will be using the term ‘rectangle’ and not oblong, due to recent studies suggesting this is the correct name for this shape!

Children are making great progress in completing their passport targets. We will be focusing on ‘solving a problem without arguing’ this half term in our Stage 1 or 2 Passports.

Very few parents have viewed the emails which start your connection with Orbit. These often go into junk so if you could please check that would be lovely as it would be great to see what they get up to at home as well as share their school achievements with you.

Show and Tell
We will be starting to conduct show and tell this half term on a Friday afternoon. Children are invited to bring objects of importance or interest to them. This could be photographs, medals, drawings or even a story to share. Please find a list of the dates for this below.

A few further bits of information:

  • We will now have outdoor PE on Friday afternoons and indoor PE will be on a Wednesday. Please ensure that children have suitable outdoor kit as still some children are having to go out in freezing conditions in shorts and a t-shirt and on a few occasions I have had to stop the class from doing PE due to it just being too cold for those with inappropriate kit.
  • Please take leaves from the tree outside the classroom and fill in any wow moments your child has at home as it is looking a little bare!
  • We will be inviting you in to hear a song we will be learning to celebrate ‘people who help us.’ This will be on the same date as the dress up day, just before home time. Dates will be confirmed in the next week for this.
  • If any parents are able to volunteer some of their time to hear readers that would be very welcome.

If you have any questions about anything in this letter then please do not hesitate to ask. I look forward to another fun filled half term.

Thank you for your continued support,
Miss Jolly

Topic Web Spring 1: Real Life SuperHeroes

Click to view and download this term's topic web, with all the exciting things we'll be learning this term:


It was such a lovely experience to perform our Nativity in the church this year. Reception did a fantastic job in their first show, singing all of the songs, joinig in with actions and showing how far their confidence has grown since starting school as they took to the stage. I am extremley proud of every single child and hope you enjoyed watching if you were able to attend. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and look forward to seeing you in the New Year. 

Miss Jolly

A Little Look into the Learning! (21/11/2016)

After parents evening it was clear that not many of you are aware of what your children get up to during the day as you often get the remark "I don't know" when you ask!

Click the play button below to view some photos of some of the learning that takes place! 

Operation Christmas Child (15/11/2016)

Thank you to all those who contributed to the shoe boxes. We quickly went from having two boxes to sending a total of 8! The children enjoyed learning about where the boxes go to and why we send them things and were extremely curious about the circumstances they live in. 
This appeal brought out such kindness in the class who began to go around the class and choose some of their favourite toys to send in the boxes.

Family Tea Party (18/10/2016)

Thank you to all those who attended the tea party. It was lovely to see how many people came and celebrate your unique families.

I am sorry that it was a little over crowded due to the weather and us not being able to use the outside space, however it was lovely to see so many of you spending time with your children, getting a little messy or sharing books together and many seemed to enjoy it.

I look forward to next half terms celebration and welcoming you back.

Autumn 2 Newsletter

Dear Parents/Carers,

I hope you all had a lovely break and managed to have a rest after such a wonderful first half term at school. The children have settled in well to school life and are already making heaps of progress and working extremely hard. Autumn 2 is going to be another action packed term full of lots of fun activities and celebrations in the run up to Christmas.

Thank you so much to all of those that attended the Family Tea party the last week of term. This was a huge success and we hope you enjoyed it as much as we did and can only apologise for it being slightly over crowded due to not being able to go outside due to the rain, however there was still a wonderful atmosphere.

This half term we will be looking at Traditional Tales. We will be focusing on exploring the language included in these books, different character roles and beginning to learn how we can be authors to and change elements of a story ourselves. We will also be learning about celebrations and family traditions such as Diwali, Firework night and Christmas.

The children are rapidly picking up each new sound introduced as well as the skills needed to read and write words and captions. Due to their hard work, we will be finishing Phase 2 in the first week back and then move onto Phase 3 where more sounds will be introduced as well as high frequency words(HFW) and common exception words (Tricky words.) New bookmarks will be coming home with your child. If you could attach these to the others on your reading log then this would be great. It is apparent that there is some confusion over the pronunciation of some sounds as often children explain that their parents say each differently. It is important that they are pronounced in the same way taught at school as this will help with their progress greatly. If you are unsure of any at all, please do not hesitate to ask one of the staff members in the class as we would be happy to help. I will also be running another Phonic information evening for those who did not attend the first.  I have found some lovely songs on Youtube that could help your child learn their HFW and Tricky words.  

Literacy will focus on encouraging children to use their phonic knowledge to segment words to build sentences with less adult support as previously needed due to the majority showing great understanding of how to use skills taught in phonics lessons to do this. We will also be using ‘talk 4 writing’ methods to look at Jack and the Beanstalk.

We will be inviting parents in to school on Tuesday 29th November at 9.00- 9.45 to see how talk 4 writing is used to develop children’s language and understanding of features of a book. This will give you insight into little activities that can be done at home to help develop these further. I will also be showing you how we encourage children to write independently, without copying words and going over dots to help them grow into independent writers. If you plan on attending please fill in the sheet located on the achievement tree outside the classroom.

This half term we will continue to focus on number work. This includes recognising numerals to 20 (or beyond), counting accurately and matching totals to a number, adding 1 more than to a number, estimating totals with realistic answers. We will also be introducing combining groups to find the total (simple addition) and then recording this using the plus symbol. Finally in week 7 we will be beginning to look at simple patterns, ready to lead us to shape in the Spring term.  Any additional number learning at home will benefit your child’s number sense. Your children have really enjoyed some of the number songs I have introduced so I have included links to these below.

Home Learning
This will continue over Autumn 2 and I will now include a maths activity linked to what we have been learning in school. It has been fantastic to see how many children get excited about this weekly. May I remind you it is not compulsory, however strongly recommended that this is completed as again it consolidates skills and builds independence. 
Outdoor Area
I have spent time this half term re-designing the outdoor area to maximise learning opportunities as we come into the wetter months! I am looking to continue expanding the provision throughout the term as would like to ask if you have any of the following that will really help develop the children’s learning.

  • Watering cans, re-fillable spray bottles, a water  but, metal shopping baskets  and wooden pallets

It is lovely to see how many of you encourage your children to read their book to you on a regular basis. Reading is the foundation to their learning so as encouragement for them to want to share a book with you at home we will be starting the reading reward system. Each child will have a book spine located on the walls in the corridor. If your child has read the previous night you are then encouraged to put a star sticker (packs will be in a plastic folder on the tree display) on the spine. We will then count up the totals at the end of the half term and prizes will be given to those who have read regularly. It is vital that the reading record is also filled in so that we can ensure this is done fairly. This will be in place for Monday.

Achievement Tree
Please feel free to take leaves from the plastic wallet attached to the tree and fill these out with achievements from home. I love seeing what they get up to and share this will the class.

Additional information
As the weather is now turning colder, it would be useful if your child could have long trousers and a jumper for our outdoor sessions as well as their t-shirt, shorts and plimsolls for indoor PE. Please continue to encourage independent dressing and undressing at home.

  • Any reply slips or notes in book bags may get missed as we sometimes do not get the opportunity to check them. With this in mind, please hand all slips to the class teacher. If your child is being brought to school by an out of school club or child minder, please pass the slip to them so that they can hand it to us.
  • I am planning on holding a premier of our stop frame animation that we are doing this term where the children will be able to dress up in posh clothes, walk the red carpet and share their achievements with their families. More information about this will be coming soon.
  • Mrs Gilbert and I will be making up some shoe boxes to send to children (aged 4-5)  around the world who are from disadvantaged backgrounds so that they have something to open at Christmas and hopefully a little reason to smile. We would like to get the children involved by making cards and pictures to go in the boxes. I would also like to include a class photo in there so that the child who receives it can see who it is from. If you would be happy to let your child be in this picture please fill in the form below. If you would also like to contribute any items please find information about it here;
  • Orbit- I have added all the information that was returned to me to the Orbit learning journals and hope that you have enjoyed looking at what your child has been up to at school. Please input your own photos and if you haven’t yet given me your email address and would like to do so, feel free to do so. 

Key Dates

  • 29th November- Literacy morning- 9.00 am – 9.45 am
  • 16th December- Christmas Jumper Day
  • 13th and 15th December – Christmas Play at Barlborough Church which will begin at 2.00pm

I look forward to seeing you all at parents evening over the next couple of weeks, 
Yours Sincerely,
Miss Jolly


Topic Web : Autumn 2

Click to view and download this term's topic web, with all the exciting things we'll be learning this term:

Autumn 1 Newsletter

Dear Parents/Carers,

I am delighted to welcome both you and the children into Owlets Class and hope that your first week at Barlborough has been enjoyable and a fairly easy transition into school life. This newsletter gives you some insight into your child’s day and what to expect from this half term to help ease you into the routines and structures of the school.  If you have any questions, no matter how silly you think they are, please always remember I am here to help.

Morning Routine
In order to help your children settle down quickly in the morning, as well as begin to gain independence, there are a number of tasks we ask your child to do every morning. They may need a little support at first however by the end of this half term should be performing these independently.

  • When entering the cloak room please encourage your children to find and recognise their name, this will help them learn the letters that make it up and therefore distinguish it from others in other contexts such as on book bags, PE bags and cardigans/ jumper.
  • Upon entering the classroom, please put water bottles in the green trays which are located in the ‘Snack Area.’ This allows them continuous access to water throughout the day. Please note it is only water that is acceptable in school, any juice will be replaced with water.
  • Next the book bags are placed in the boxes located near the whiteboard.

Once all of the above are complete the children will then take part in activities set up on the tables in the classroom. These alter daily to allow children to explore activities they may not necessarily choose to conduct throughout the day and also consolidate vital skills needed to enhance their learning.  Again, your child may need support at first, but will be encouraged to gain independence for completion independently throughout the term. 
The topics are as follows:

  • Monday- Name Writing/ Handwriting (When phonics starts) 
  • Tuesday- Jigsaws and group games
  • Wednesday- Maths and number 
  • Thursday- Rainbow reading
  • Friday- Cutting skill

At 9.00 I will call all of the children to the carpet, if parents could make a swift exit from the classroom so we can start our busy day this would be greatly appreciated.

Our topic for this half term is ‘Marvellous Me’ where the children will explore lots of different and unique ways which make them special. Here we will explore their original features,  their interests and unique characteristics. This will then lead onto learning about families and how they differ from one another. Finally we will explore the amazing human body and why it is important to stay healthy.

We will be celebrating our wonderful families with a tea party towards the end of the term where parents will be invited to come in and participate in activities with your child which will explore the unique nature of your family.

Phonics and Handwriting
We will begin Phase 2 of letters and sounds the week beginning 19/09/16. Here the children will be introduced to a different sound each day and learn the necessary skills needed to begin to blend to read and segment to spell. I will be conducting a Phonics and Maths Home Learning Support Workshop for you to attend to help you understand how to apply similar techniques we use at school at home. This will be on Tuesday 20th September at 4.30- 5.15pm. This timing is to reduce the number of children that attend to help you get your head around it a little bit! If you plan on attending please fill in the signing sheet which will be put up on my door towards the end of this week.  Phonics is a little hard to understand at first, especially initial sounds as you are used to saying letter names, however Oxford Owl have a fantastic section on their website which demonstrates the pronunciation of each.

I will also be setting up a great home learning tool called ‘teach your monsters to read’ which is a brilliant set of games designed to help the initial stages of reading. I will be sending home a letter with your children’s unique logon for this in the next few weeks.

During Phonics lessons, the children will also learn how to record each sound they are introduced to. This will start on a larger scale which they will then learn to perfect as they gain confidence in writing and develop the skill further. We will also introduce hand exercises and activities to strengthen the muscles in the hands and develop fine motor skills needed to grip and control a pencil correctly. We will also concentrate on building up the core stability needed to sit correctly at a table. I will send home some activities you could try at home to help your child’s progress at school.

Every half term we celebrate an ‘Amazing Author’ where we explore lots of their books and use these as a link to our topics and Literacy objectives. This half term we are looking at Liz Pichon.

As we begin Phonics it is important that your child discovers the sounds they hear and see at school in various contexts, we will therefore be sending home a school reading scheme book that you can share with your child. At this age, reading is a crucial part of children’s learning so it would be helpful if you could hear your child read at home as often as possible and ask them questions about the story to develop their comprehension skills. I will send home an information leaflet about this along with your child’s first book for some guidance. Your child will have a Reading Diary for you to date and sign each time you hear them read. You can also use the diary for any informal messages you have to pass on. Please be aware every child is different and they all progress at different rates. However, if you have any concerns over your child’s reading development, please see one of us. In the meantime, please continue to read to your child as much as possible. Look out for the Library Box that we will be setting up over the next week. It will be placed on the table near the water bottles and you are welcome to take a book home to share with your child.

During this half term, we will be focusing on number recognition with numerals to 10 and beyond and counting objects and actions. With number recognition we encourage children to explore the shapes of numbers and the different lines which make each up. This allows children to distinguish them from one another and will encourage them to begin to record numerals with their own representations. When you are out and about see how many different numbers you can see on doors, shop windows, price tickets or number plates. This will help children with the development with this. Counting underpins all operations and the more we practise, the better we get.  If possible, count with your child as much as possible at home. Children can count anything and everything, shoes, claps, carrots or jumps!  – encourage them to count things wherever they are and if possible begin to integrate matching the total counted to a numeral for development of number sense and understanding.  Some great games can be found on this website;

Email Address
We are currently in the process of setting up an online learning journal which allows you to see what your child is up to at school as well as input ‘wow’ moments your child has at home for us to see. To link you to your child please complete the form below with your email address which will then send you information about the next steps and how to access your child’s journal. Please ensure you do not share any information from your child’s journal on social media sites as there may be references and photos of other children due to group work.


Please could you ensure that any property that is brought into school is clearly named. This includes water bottles, shoes, hats, gloves, wellington boots- everything except the child itself! This makes reuniting lost items with their owner a lot easier.

A few further bits of information:

  • Our P.E lessons will be on Wednesday and Friday afternoons. Please can you ensure your child has their P.E kit in school on these days and that they are not wearing any jewellery (should your child have recently had their ears pierced you must send them to school with earrings taped up on these days.) As the weather turns colder it would be useful if your child could have long trousers and a jumper for our outdoor sessions as well as their t-shirt, shorts & plimsolls for indoor PE.  All kit needs to be named clearly. We also ask that you regularly check your child’s PE bag for misplaced items as we are unable to check 30 kits every day.
  • Please look out for First Aid letters which children will be given at home time. This gives you information about what minor injury your child received and how/when.
  • Each term, our class newsletter is available to read on the school website.
  • We are always looking to collect recyclable materials to use to make models. If you have any that you could donate, please ensure it is clean and place it in the junk modelling box at the creative table.
  • We are always looking to have adult helpers involved in our school. If you would like to help out in our class as well as other year groups, please let me know and I will pass your information on to Miss Towndrow-Birds.
  • It is important that your child begins to develop their independence in order to undergo day to day school life confidently. With this in mind we ask you to support your child in practicing certain skills at home such as getting dressed and undressed, taking their jumper off and putting it on, recognising their name, putting their coats on and tidying away what they have been using before moving on to something else!
  • It is recommended that a pair of named wellies are kept on each child’s peg for outdoor learning as it moves into autumn as we will be out come rain or shine!
  • Mrs Hartley will be releasing the children on a Monday afternoon due to this being my allocated planning, preparation and assessment time.
  • Achievement tree- I will be sending home some leaves for you to fill out with ‘wow’ moments your child has at home. Please fill these out and hand them to me to fix to the tree so we can celebrate successes from at home as well as at school.

If you have any questions about any of the above or any other queries please do not hesitate in speaking to Mrs Gilbets or I, we are always happy to help.

Thank you,
Miss Jolly

Autumn 1 Curriculum Web: Marvelous Me