Brilliant Bunnies

Key Vocabulary for Spring 1

 Please see below for the key vocabulary that we will be focusing on this half term. Please scroll down to look at ideas for questions to use with your child when exploring books and some fantastic sentence starters you could try to use to retell stories. 

Spring 1 Newsletter

Dear Parents and Carers,

I hope you had a lovely Christmas and would like to wish you all a Happy New Year-let’s hope it is a good one! I am extremely proud of how far the children have already come during their first full term at school and can’t wait to see what they can achieve this half term too.  

 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 with day to day tasks. 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.  A provisional date for this will be on Friday 18th February 2022 which I will confirm on Dojo.

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 similar to that used when looking at Jack and The Beanstalk last half term. This encourages children to organise facts as well as recognise language used when writing them down.  Using similar techniques we will also learn a version of the story ‘Cops and Robbers’ by Allen Ahlberg.

 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 with different 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.

I have noticed that some children are still very dependent on adult support when writing. If children do any writing at home I advise that you help them plan it by saying the sentences together a number of times, marking each word by using your fingers (a video will be posted on dojo about how to do this) and then leaving your child to write the sentence on their own. This may be a challenge at first, but it will help them read over their work to see what sounds come next as well as develop their critical thinking skills, enabling them to sequence their own ideas. Once they have completed this, I would recommend going over their writing and correcting one or two things such as letter formation, or adding in some missing sounds. This again encourages your child to think about reading over their work and editing it.

Please find below two examples of writing that children did independently, with no adult support at all. This is the expectation at this point in the year and what we are aiming for with home learning. Sometimes I know it can be difficult to know what we are aiming to achieve so thought this would give you more of an understanding. Please note, not all children are at this level yet as they all learn at different rates.


  ‘The princess (prises) wos sad she had no money (muny.)’            ‘not I said (sed) the dog.’                                                                  

We are going to start Phase 3 of letters and sounds this half term where children will concentrate on learning 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). New frequency words(HFW) and common exception words (Tricky words) will also be introduced. Bookmarks for these will be sent home in the new year.

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 or with their homework. 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.  

In order to meet the expected standard for reading at the end of Reception, your child would need to be reading and understanding the book colours stated below by the end of each term.


We will begin this half term with exploring Shape. Here the children will be identifying 2d and 3d shapes and their properties. 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!  After looking at shape, we will then continue developing our number knowledge, this time looking at numbers 6,7 and 8. We will start by practicing ordering numbers and counting accurately to these totals. We will also be looking at combing two groups to make these numbers as well as the usual composition facts and subitising skills.

Children are making great progress in completing their passport targets. We will be focusing on ‘solving a problem without arguing’ this half term and try and encourage children to use communication and kind gestures to keep play going when challenges may occur.


Please see the timetable below for the homework- I will also set it weekly on Dojo. I will be keeping a record of who completes this from now on as numbers have reduced slightly, although it is not compulsory it is exceptionally beneficial. The weekly words have worked very well with many children learning these by sight, thank you for your support with this.  I have also added a number of spare sheets at the back (which are labelled) if you notice children need additional support in certain areas or if they want to do some additional work.  Please continue to encourage pre-cursive handwriting and correct one or two handwriting ‘mistakes’ on the homework and ask your child to practice these multiple times at the bottom. This is a strategy used to help develop their hand muscle memory to make writing easier.

Week 1

Week of 10th Jan

Sentence- Pat a dog.

Maths- Natural 2D shapes

Weekly word- Dad

Week 2

Week of 17th Jan

Sentence- Cat in a hat.

Maths- Maths seeds – Numbers 1-8

Weekly word- Mum

Week 3

Week of 24th Jan

Sentence- Cats and dogs.

Maths- Composition of numbers

Weekly word- big

Week 4

Week of 31st Jan

Sentence- Sock on a mat

Maths- Maths Seeds- Add to 7

Weekly word- the

Week 5

Week of 7th Feb

Sentence-. Rats on a bag.

Maths- Combine 2 groups

Weekly word- if

Week 6

Week of 14th Feb.

Sentence-  A dog in mud.

Maths- Maths Seeds-More, less and the same.

Weekly word- at

Memory Games

Playing memory games can improve other brain functions, such as attention, concentration, and focus. Memory games give space to critical thinking and that helps children nurture their attention to detail. Memory games can improve visual recognition. With this in mind I will be including some ideas that you can try at home to help develop these skills in a fun and engaging way in each newsletter.

Jumping Sequence- Use large squares of paper, which are coloured, numbered or lettered. Begin with coloured squares taped to the floor. Show the child a sequence, initially only two colours/numbers etc. Child then jumps onto the squares in the correct sequence. Increase difficulty by increasing amount of squares in the sequence and move onto letters and numbers.

A few further bits of information:

  • PE will continue to be on Wednesday and Thursday.
  • 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.
  • Independence is key this half term in order to help the children make good progress. To help this you could encourage children to do little jobs at home such as set the table, make their bed, match socks etc and this in turn should help them regain their independence and allow them to redeem critical thinking skills, encouraging them to process information by themselves and act on what they have heard with little adult intervention. If independence is lacking, children will find making progress very difficult as they become reliant on an adult doing absolutely everything for them which is not beneficial in the long run.
  • We have a fire engine coming to visit the children which will be very exciting. I haven’t informed the children as this could be subject to change with the current

Thank you for your continued support,

Miss Jolly

Curriculum Web

 Have a look at all the fun things we will get up to this half term.  

Key Stage Newsletter

 The children in KS1 and Early Years have been busy writing pieces to go in the termly newsletter. Please find it attached to see all of the fun things we have been up to as a key stage and also celebrate children's achievements in their writing.


 For our enterprise project we had a class vote on what to make this year and the winning idea was Christmas pudding biscuits. The children drew pictures of what they wanted these to look like and had a class discussion about how much these should cost. We agreed that 30p a biscuit was a good idea as they would be in bags.  

We incorporated lots of different skills when making these biscuits. We used our fine motor skills to break up 5 chunks of chocolate each and put these in a bowl. We discussed what would happen when the chocolate warmed up and melted and then came up with some describing words for how the chocolate looked once it had done so. “gooey, squelchy and drippy” were some fabulous examples. The children each took turns stirring the chocolate 5 times before dipping the biscuits in it and adding 5 holly or berry sprinkles on top of this. As they added the sprinkles they talked about the compositions they had made for example 2 berries and 3 holly leaves makes 5.

We set up our stall in the hall ready to sell our biscuits. We decorated a tree to make our stand look appealing and placed the biscuits out for people to buy. We then had fun using our own money to buy lots of exciting things other people had made too. We practiced using our big voices to talk to unfamiliar people and remembered to use our manners. The children did a great job in these new situations and worked well as a team to make the decisions and the products to sell. 

Christmas Dinner

The children really enjoyed their first Christmas lunch at school. They tucked into their Christmas dinner after pulling crackers and trying to find their toys. There were lots of happy faces.  

Does Everyone Have a Favourite Pair of Shoes?

A huge thank you to everyone who took part in the active week and collected sponsorship money for this. We managed to raise a fantastic £285 for the  charity ' Sals Shoes' so that children all around the world can have a favoruite pair of shoes just like us. The children really enjoyed exploring how families differ to our own during our Understanding The World topic this half term and were very curious to develop their knowledge about this. 

Nativity Book

 The children have done a great job practicing for their Nativity performance. We hope you enjoyed being able to celebrate with us. The children did such a wonderful job in front of their first audience and were so brave getting on stage. I am so proud of them. Here are some sneak previews of our book that we have made too. It looks absolutely beautiful and we can't wait to share it with you once it is published. 

Class Reward

 We had a lovely day in our pyjamas for our class reward for fantastic behaviour. Well done to all the children for working together to get the reward. 


 The children are absolutely amazing me with their phonic knowledge and their writing lately.
They are all so keen to learn and use their skills to write simple captions or sentences. I have to share with your some of their work today, where we were looking at repeated vocabulary in the Traditional Tale ‘The Little Red Hen.’

What a proud teacher I am yet again due to your lovely little ones.

Key Vocabulary for Autumn 2

Please see below for the key vocabulary that we will be focusing on this half term. Please scroll down to look at ideas for questions to use with your child when exploring books and some fantastic sentence starters you could try to use to retell stories. 

Autumn 1 Newsletter

Dear Parents/Carers,

 Welcome back, I hope you had a restful break after such a busy, but fantastic first half term at school. I am extremely pleased with how the children are settling in and can already see some brilliant progress as they embrace all the new topics and learning concepts I keep sending their way.

Autumn 2 is going to be another action packed half term, particularly with all the celebrations in the run up to Christmas, which is always an extremely exciting time of year for the children.


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 and change elements of a story ourselves. We will also be learning about celebrations and family traditions such as Diwali, Firework night and Christmas.

 To help your children develop in this area it would be great to share some of your favourite traditional tales as well as the more modern ‘messed up fairy tales’ which often tell the stories from a different perspective. It would also be great if you use the vocabulary triangle, reflective questions and story starters at home. This will help extend the children’s vocabulary even further and also explore the concept of differing narratives.


Many of the children are rapidly picking up the new sounds introduced, as well as the skills needed to read and write words and captions. Due to their hard work, we will be continuing to introduce the rest of the Phase 2 sounds at the new slower pace this half term and have a real focus on developing the children’s understanding of how we form these letters and how we use these sounds in our blending and segmenting.

We will also continue to introduce high frequency words (HFW) and common exception words (Tricky words.) Learning these by sight make for much more fluent readers and make spelling them a lot easier. I have sent home a set of word cards with the homework pack. Each week there is a  ‘word of the week.’ This is a word that we would like you to practice with your child every day at home, so they are able to read it by sight. We will then do a weekly check at school to see who has learnt it. This will develop your child’s accuracy when reading and their fluency so please ensure you practice it.

If your child is a little reluctant to read at home, this could be due to several things such as time of day, lack of understanding of the narrative so it therefore becomes boring, or un-engagement. To try and help with these issues I would firstly suggest picking the reading time according to your child’s mood. If you know your chid is more responsive in the mornings, try and have a morning cuddle and spend 5-10 minutes reading before the morning routine kicks in. To hook the child into the narrative and help them learn how to understand these through the use of pictures and text you could first act out what you think will happen using the pictures to help before ‘being a detective’ and actually reading the story to see if they were correct. Please see the vocabulary triangle and questions sheet for a little inspiration about how to try and get your child to engage with the books that they are reading.


Literacy will focus on encouraging children to use their phonic knowledge to segment words in order to build sentences with less adult support as previously needed. This is due to the majority of children 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. I will be including lots of videos on Class dojo so that you can see how talk 4 writing is used to develop children’s language and understanding of the 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.


This half term we will continue to focus on number work. This includes recognising numerals to 5, (or beyond) counting objects, actions or even noises accurately and matching totals to a number. We will also continue to develop the children’s understanding of subitising and practicing recognising the total number in different arrangements of objects or dots without counting.  Finally we will move on to exploring more compositions of numbers to 5 and try to encourage children to use number facts to recall these rather than using counting methods. An example of a composition of 5 is ‘2 and 3 make 5’ or ‘1 and 4 make 5.’ Finally in week 7 we will be beginning to look at simple patterns, ready to lead us to shape in the Spring term.

I have noticed that there are some children who have come to school lacking basic number knowledge or number sense making it difficult for them to recognise numbers 1-10 and count out totals to match each numeral. Any additional practice at home would help develop these skills quickly. You can also use the number games I have created on the home learning section of the website.

Home Learning

The response to the writing home learning activities has been fantastic and the children are consolidating skills learnt at school very quickly by practising them at home too. I have seen a huge improvement in the children’s handwriting who have been doing these activities regularly, so thank you for your support with this. Home learning will continue over Autumn 2 and I will now include a maths activity linked to what we have been learning in school. This will alternate between being paper based or online using a website called ‘Maths Seeds’ which is very fun and engaging. The logins for this have been sent home. Each week the correct task will appear on a Monday, (see below for what these will be.) However, I have added some additional tasks your child can work through in your own time to develop number knowledge or consolidate skills. It has been fantastic to see how many children get excited about this weekly, and I see a huge difference in the children who complete it regularly. May I remind you it is not compulsory, however strongly recommended that this is completed as again it consolidates skills and builds independence. Please see the timetable below for the homework.

Week 1

Literacy – Phoneme frames, cat, man, tap, dog
Maths- All about number 1 and 2.

Weekly word-at

Week 2


Literacy – Pictures and captions matching

Maths- Maths seeds- numbers 1-5

Weekly word-sat

Week 3

Literacy – Phoneme frames, peg, net, mop, pen

Maths-All about numbers 3 and 4.

Weekly word-pat

Week 4


Literacy – Say it, join it, write it.

Maths- Maths seeds- numbers 0 and ordering numbers

Weekly word-tap

Week 5

Literacy – Phoneme frames, pip, sit, ten, pan

Maths- Number 5 and number formation

Weekly word-sap

Week 6


Literacy – b/d sheet

Maths- Maths seeds- Number lines 1-10

Weekly word-sit

Week 7

Literacy – Write a list to Santa using your phonic knowledge to list the things you would like.

Maths- Number representation sorting 1-5

Weekly word-sip

 I have also added some additional sheets at the end which can be done to help build skills you see your child struggling with. The more practice, the easier these tasks will be.

Boys Learning Update

I have included two more information sheets about how to support early literacy development with a little questionnaire to help you asses the level that your child is at currently and some ideas to further support them. Please note it does state on it that ‘too much pressure at an early age can create literacy difficulties.’ This is extremely important as pressure can lead to low self-esteem and also reluctance. This doesn’t mean you give up trying if your child is a little reluctant, it means you try new strategies to engage them. I have also included some maths ideas for home. Again these are not focused solely on boys and would be very useful for both genders learning development.

Reading Books

We will continue to operate the reading book system as we have been doing so that you keep one book at home and the one previously read at home is returned in book bags on a Monday so we can change it on the Friday- once it has been quarantined in school.  I will also be sending home information about an online reading system that we use called ‘rising stars.’ These are e-books and are a great addition to add to your reading schedule for variety. These are set at your child’s reading level and like the books sent home, should be read through multiple times to develop the children’s comprehension skills.

Live Dough Disco
Fine motor skills are the coordination of small muscle movements – usually involving small, precise thumb, finger, hand, and wrist movements. Fine motor activities in the early year’s help children refine their pincer grasp (grasping an object with their thumb and pointer finger using their preferred hand) and are a precursor to neat handwriting. By practicing picking up, manipulating, and exercising the small muscles in the palm of the hand you are enabling children to gain control and strength while colouring, drawing, cutting, using cutlery, getting dressed, peeling fruit, forming letters etc.

Many children who do not have strong small motor skills become more easily frustrated while doing tasks that require the use of the pincer grasp which can lead to poor self-esteem, anxiety and stress.

We have noticed that due to children missing out on a lot over the last few years because of the Pandemic, some of their fine motor skills require a little extra practice to enable them to do some of the tasks above with ease. With this in mind, I am going to be putting on some live Dough Disco sessions using Teams this half term. Here I will introduce a new technique to exercise and strengthen the hand muscles before incorporating these into a disco routine! These will be 10-15 minutes long at 4.15pm and more information about these will be posted on Dojo over the next couple of days.

Other Information:

  • Nativity Book- As part of our enterprise topic this year and to help reduce the numbers of children and adults in the church during the nativity performance this Christmas, we have decided to create a Nativity book instead. The children will act out the story and we will photograph this, turning these into a published book for you to purchase. It was such a lovely keepsake last year and something the children really enjoyed. Please fill in this questionnaire to secure a part for your child and also give your consent for your child to take part in it. This closes on 04/11/2021 and limited parts will be given out to those who filled in the questionnaire first -
  • Sponsored event- During our ‘Understanding The World’ topic this half term we are looking at ‘Does everyone in the world have a favourite pair of shoes?’ Here we will be exploring how families from around the world differ to ours. We will be looking at their clothing, possessions, and houses before leading on to seeing how a child in Africa’s routine is different to ours too. We will be thinking about how some families are not as lucky as we are and do not have basic things like water or shoes. With this in mind, we will be having a sponsored ‘move your feet’ week where we invite you and your children to be as active as possible for a full week. We want to encourage you to go on walks/runs, walk to school, have dance a thons, go swimming- anything to get you to move those feet. We will then have a full day at school where we will be as active as possible, whilst wearing our favourite pair of shoes. For this week, we will ask that your children get sponsored to take part, and all money raised will go to the charity Sal’s Shoes. Please find more information about this charity or more information about donating your own unwanted shoes to children all around the world here  More information about this event will be sent home soon.

Thank you for your continued support,

Miss Jolly


Curriculum Web

Have a look at all the fun things we will get up to this half term.  

Phonics Videos

 Here are the videos I have created to help you and your children get your heads around the correct pronunciation and formation of each of the Phase 2 sounds that we will be learning during Phonics this half term. There is also a video below which when clicked on should take you to my channel.

Autumn 1 Newsletter

 Dear Parents/Carers,

It is a pleasure to welcome you and your children into Reception, with a special welcome to the new children and families joining the Barlborough Primary School family. I am very much looking forward to getting to your little ones over the Reception School Year.  The main priority during the first few weeks is to support the children as they transition into school life and make them feel comfortable and safe as they settle in to their new environment and become accustomed to all of the new rules and routines.

This newsletter gives you some insight into your child’s day and what to expect in the first half term and help ease you into the routines and structures of the school, but if anything is still unclear, please do not hesitate to ask. Also, due to the current situation, we may be changing things on a regular basis to suit the class and their needs- but I will keep you updated with this.

Morning Routine

Children are expected to be dropped off at 8.50am. 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 with as little support as possible due to the current situation, so any practice at home will make these mornings a little easier for your child and the class.

◾When entering the cloak room your child will 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.

◾ Your child will then put their coat on their peg. Again any practice with taking coats off and putting them on (including doing the zip/buttons) will help them do this by themselves.

The children will then go and wash their hands with soap and water in the toilets before entering the classroom.

◾Once all of the above are complete the children will then enter the classroom. The children have been spilt into two groups as recommended by current guidance, to minimise the risk of cross contamination if there happens to be Covid-19 cases at school. Again this could change in September depending on how things change over the next few months.  

Each groups seating place will change weekly, allowing both groups the opportunity to take part in morning work to develop their skills in certain areas. Some will be at tables, others on the carpet. The activities set up on the tables in the classroom 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. The themes for these activities are as followed;

Monday- Name Writing/ Handwriting (When phonics starts)

Tuesday- Name Writing/ Handwriting (When phonics starts)

Wednesday- Maths and number

Thursday- Rainbow reading

Friday- Cutting skills

These groups will then alternate throughout the day having time in the classroom, the outside area, the garden or the learning spaces in the hallway. The children will come together at playtimes, assembly times and lunch times to enable relationships to build. The groups will also change at half terms so once again, the children make friendship groups with lots of different children.


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 in the UK and those from other countries. Finally we will explore the amazing human body and why it is important to stay healthy. To make the topic more appealing, we will be using books by Lisa Bullard which explore the similarities and differences between ourselves, our families and our homes. They offer a great insight into cultural diversity also.


We will begin Phase 2 of letters and sounds the week commencing Monday 27th September depending on how the children are settling in. Here the children will be introduced to a different sound every other day so we can focus on using these in reading and writing for over a two-day period for each sound. Introducing these at a slower pace should help all children to learn the necessary skills needed to begin to blend to read and segment to spell. I usually conduct a Phonics Home Learning Support Workshop for you to attend to help you understand how to apply similar techniques we use at school at home, however this is not viable at the moment due to limiting the number of visitors in school. With this in mind I will hold a Microsoft Teams phonics session for parents on Wednesday 15th September at 4.00pm. It would be lovely to see as many of you attend this as possible as it is vital we work together to develop the fundamental skills needed to read and write in Reception, because if children fall behind in Reception, it is very hard for them to catch up.  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 have also put together some videos which are available on the school website or Youtube. These demonstrate the pronunciation and formation of each sound. They are child friendly but also a vital tool to your own understanding of phonics. These can be found under the ‘parent’s information’ tab, with the heading ‘phonics and handwriting information.’

As phonics begins I will be sending home handwriting practice sheets. These will be sent out the Friday that we start Phonics lessons and should be complete each week and uploaded to Class Dojo for me to ‘mark.’  You will have a week to complete each one- guidance will be uploaded on Class Dojo in regard to this when it begins.

It is essential that the pre-cursive handwriting style shown on these sheets is continued at home, as going between writing styles could confuse your children as well as delay their development in writing.  This new technique can be a little confusing at first and may make your child’s handwriting appear messy, however it is important that you continue to practice it this way. Please refer to the videos above or the handwriting booklet for more help with learning to form letters this way.


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 also have a Reading Diary for you to date and sign each time you hear them read. Please upload a photo of this to Dojo every Friday so I can see what your child has been reading and how they have got 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 as this is a valuable tool to develop your child’s vocabulary and imagination.

At first Lilac books will be sent home which have no words in. This is an opportunity for you to ask your child to look at the pictures and create their own narratives. Here you can use questioning to help them predict what will happen next, name the characters and think about the emotions of the characters. I would recommend that you start by making up the story on one page to guide your children, then encourage them to have a turn with the next few pages. After this pink books will be sent home. The children may still not be at the blending to read words stage, but it would be beneficial for your child to look at sounds they have learnt and have a go at orally blending these.

We will change these books on the Friday.  

We also have a virtual book library called Rising Stars which I will set reading books on as well so you can chop and change between hard copies and these online ones. I will send login details home for this over the next few weeks.


During this half term, we will be focusing on number recognition with numerals to 5 and beyond and counting objects and actions to this. We will also be teaching children how to subitise as this is a key element of the new EYFS curriculum as it underpins a secure understanding of numbers and their compositions. Subitising can help children to build images for numbers, to visualise and to learn number facts. For instance, most four-year-olds readily learn to recognise five dots on a dice, which helps them to understand the cardinal value or 'howmanyness' of five. We will develop their recognition of different arrangements of objects to represent numbers to 5 along with the standard dots on a dice.

With number recognition we encourage children to explore the shapes of numbers and the different lines which make each up. This allows them 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 their 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;

Boys Learning

It is common knowledge that boys often have a completely different approach to learning than girls. Although this comes with it many positives, it has also created a global problem where girls can be seen out performing boys throughout their whole school life. With this in mind it is absolutely crucial that we work together to try and engage both the girls and boys in the class and create that love of learning from the outset. It appears that independence is key when it comes to boys learning and I will be sending home some activities to all students which are designed to encourage independence in thought processes as well as when involved in tasks. I will also be sending home information by Gary Wilson who has published many books to help practitioners and parents nurture boys and build them to be successful learners. I have a fantastic book by him for parents called ‘help your boys succeed. The essential guide for parents.’ I would strongly recommend for parents to purchase this, or am happy to lend my copy out if you are interested in reading it. I have included an information sheet at the end of this newsletter about your child’s independence and ideas on how to build on this as well as some early literacy ideas to help both girls and boys discretely with essential skills needed to write successfully.

Separation Anxiety

It is completely normal for children to get upset when you first start dropping them off at school, especially when they are not used to the new routine and structure that they are experiencing and having spent a lot of time at home these last few months. In order to help upset children it is vital that we work together and make the goodbye in the morning positive and not sound so final. Using phrases such as ‘see you this afternoon’ or ‘ I can’t wait to see you when I pick you up later’ will help with this. It is best in these situations that you leave the playground quickly as this makes the anticipation of you leaving less intense. In some circumstances children will latch on to you, making it difficult for you to leave, in these cases I will always ask your permission before I intervene. Next I will ask that you give them a kiss and a cuddle before you leave. I will then take your child from you calmly and gently and comfort them until they calm down. Often they take very little time to settle and we will always contact you to assure you that they are ok, likewise you are welcome to ring the office if you are concerned as I understand that it can be very upsetting for you too. If your child isn’t clingy, yet still upset, allowing you to leave easily, please make a member of staff aware as some children will then try and follow you.

Passport to learning

At Barlborough we use a ‘Passport system’ to encourage children to work towards targets which encourage and promote good citizenship skills as well as link to British Values. The first passport they will start on is an Orange one. We will be concentrating on saying please and thank you and helping keep the classroom tidy this half term.

A few further bits of information:

  • We will have PE twice a week. An indoor and outdoor kit will be needed. The days these will be on will be confirmed on Tuesday.
  • Please look out for First Aid letters which children will be given at home time if they have had an accident at school. This gives you information about what minor injury your child received and how/when. These will be on red paper if it is a head injury. Please be assured that if any accidents happen which we deem of a more serious nature we will contact you immediately.
  • Each half term, our class newsletter is available to read on the school website.
  • 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 coat on, using a knife and fork and tidying away what they have been using before moving on to something else! Another great skill to try and develop which may have been delayed slightly from spending lots of time at home is recall of and following instructions. This is part of the Early Years curriculum so it would be great if you practice asking your child to do something once and letting them try and remember this and follow it up without reminders. This can then be increased to two and then three things within the sequence. An example of this would be “go and wash your hands, put your coat on and then sit down.”
  • Mrs Gilbert will lead the class on my PPA afternoons as it is my allocated planning time. Here they will take part in activities in the garden where they will take part in natural learning.
  • Please ensure all clothes (including PE kits/water bottles etc) are named as things will go missing and we are always eager to reunite it with its owner.
  • Book bags and mice will now be expected to be brought to school on a Monday. We will then keep these at school for the full week and return these on Friday.
  • Any letters or important information will be put on Class dojo or the website so please check these regularly.

If you have any questions about any of the above or any other queries please do not hesitate in speaking to Mrs Stokes or I, we are always happy to help and understand there is lots of new information to try and process.

I look forward to starting this learning adventure with your little ones in September and hope you have a lovely summer.

Kind Regards,

Miss Jolly

Topic Web

Have a look at all of the fun things we will be learning this half term.  

Key Vocabulary This Half Term

A good vocabulary (the number of words you know and can say) is really important for all children. It is an important building block for helping children to talk in sentences (and beyond!) but it's also really useful for learning to read and write. So, helping children to develop a good vocabulary is vital. With this in mind please use this vocabulary triangle to introduce these words to your children and encourage them to use them when taking part in the conversation starters.