Nursery – We have kind hands in Nursery

We were so busy this week finishing an amazing art project, talking about Sikhism and celebrating Kindness week.

Religious education:

This week the children explored different religion – Sikhism. They made lovely Diva lamps (still drying and getting ready for painting on a Monday 🙂 ), we baked flat bread to share, we made Sikh puppets and tried to make the Sikhism symbol using black paint and white paper. Well done children for all your hard work.

Art project:

We were very busy creating our doctor, using only recycling materials. The children were really excited to finish it today and dress him in his PPE. Amazing work EYFS!!!

This week we also talked a lot about kindness. We made a lovely Kindness tree display and everyone contributed. The children began by making hand prints and then adding them to our special tree. Of course we had plenty of ideas:

‘With our kind hands we can pick up toys.’

‘We can help a friend.’

‘We can buy a plaster from the shop and help someone.’

‘We can wave.’

I hope you will like our special Kindness tree…

Have a lovely weekend!

Mrs Solakova

Reception – Reading

Dear parents,

I have your collected your child’s reading book and reading record and will return them tomorrow.  Your child will have in their book bag their high frequency word bag and letters and sounds book. Please use these for tonight’s home reading activities.

Here are some ideas you may like to try:

High frequency word stamp

You will need:

Word bag and something to splat the words eg. wooden spoon or your child can just use their feet.

What to do:

Spread out the words from your child’s word bag on the floor.

Call out the words.

Ask your child has to stamp on the word, or hit the word with the wooden spoon.

Swap places with your child and ask your child to call out the words.


You will need:

Word bag and a timer.

What to do:

Explain to your child that the object of this game is to read as many words as possible before the timer signals ‘stop’.  I suggest perhaps 1 or 2 minutes.

Repeat the game, the objective is for your child to beat their last score.

If you feel your child needs an extra challenge, ask your child to write as many words as they can before the timer signals ‘stop’.

I hope your child enjoys playing the games.  I would love to see your child’s learning on Tapestry.  The children always enjoy sharing their home learning with the class.

Mrs Palmer



At St Adrian’s we teach mathematics through a maths mastery approach. We strive to develop a deep, long-term and adaptable understanding of maths for all pupils. By teaching children to master maths, they become mathematically fluent and are able to solve non-routine problems without having to memorise procedures.

Teachers identify the key learning for each class and plan to secure these.  Learning sequences are developmental and, depending on the concept, a good proportion of time will be spent securing key learning. Teachers use their judgement about when it is the right time to move on.  This approach enables the large majority of pupils to progress through the curriculum content at broadly the same pace.

Our school Mathematics curriculum Map 

We use Maths — No Problem! textbooks and workbooks, which have been written to meet the requirements of the 2014 English national curriculum. The MNP Primary Series was assessed by the DfE’s expert panel, which judged that it met the core criteria for a high-quality textbook to support teaching for mastery.

What a visitor might typically see in maths learning in our school

Whole group direct teaching with clear and progressive modelling of concepts and procedures with sequences of varied examples

The consistent use of core manipulatives and representations to support pupils’ ability to access learning and to deepen children’s understanding

Emphasis placed on ‘learning’ through reasoning, developing multiple strategies and concepts towards understanding

Rehearsal of core facts and strategies through the development of frequent ‘intelligent rehearsal

Rich mathematical talk is given high status and supported by the learning environment and teachers’ questioning

Daily opportunities to reason and problem solve through through carefully planned focus tasks

Differentiated learning offered through split class structure and adjustments to allow access to and challenge within whole group learning.

Challenge for pupils grasping concepts quickly is provided through depth and breadth of experience

Pupils ‘grappling’ with learning mathematical concepts

How we support children to catch up and how we challenge advanced learners

Teachers work with a focus group each day supporting pupils having difficulty to catch up or deepening understanding for those pupils who have grasped the concept quickly.

During this focus time, teachers are constantly assessing next steps and diagnosing misconceptions ready for future planning and teaching.

These groups are flexible and based upon pupils’ understanding of the current learning as teachers understand that pupils grasp areas of maths at different rates.

TAs are well trained and as a result of their increased subject knowledge are able to support groups effectively in addition to our qualified support teachers

The school invests in early intervention for mathematics. They are short-term and sharply focused upon specific needs. Leaders will regularly assesses the impact of these.

Staff understand that stretch and challenge are achieved through increasing opportunities for pupils to work deeply and broadly within each area of mathematics.

How the school has developed its systems for tracking attainment and progress in mathematics

The school is focused on formative assessment first and foremost and uses HfL assessment criteria to judge how well individuals and groups of individuals are securing learning and to identify gaps and barriers. AM7 is used for tracking attainment and progress using the HfL steps and phases approach.  This allows the swift identification of groups of pupils in danger of not meeting age-related expectations or for whom progress has slowed.

Useful documents

National Curriculum for Mathematics

Calculation Policy

Reception – RE/Letters and Sounds

On Monday Mrs O’Connor brought into school Deacon Paul’s vestments to show us, including the different coloured stoles that are worn at different times of the church year. We especially liked the white stole that is worn at the celebration of baptism. We guessed that the pink one is worn for Mary’s feast days. We also saw the alb and the dalmatic garments. She told us that the stole represents the towel that Jesus puts over this shoulder at the Last Supper when he washed and dried his disciples’ feet.

We also held our very own baptism in our class church. We all said “I baptise you in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit”. We followed this with a class celebration which included singing songs. Perhaps the highlight of the afternoon was the delicious cake at the end.

Letters and Sounds

As promised in the children’s Letters and Sounds books, below is one of the games we play at school. You may like to have a go at home.

What’s the sound Mr Wolf?

You will need:

  1. Your child’s word bag.
  2. Lots of space – outside is best.

What to do:

Take out tricky words (star shapes) from the word bag. 

You will only need the other high frequency words for the game (words that can be sounded out)

  1. Stand your child several large paces away from ‘The Wolf’ (parent).
  2. Pull from the word bag a word, say the word and ask your child to sound it out.
  3. Your child will then say the sounds loudly as they take strides forward.
  4. Make sure your child takes just one stride per sound.
  5. Choose another word and repeat.
  6. Once your child is close enough to The Wolf, turn round and shout ‘dinner time!’
  7. The wolf chases your child who runs back ‘home’ and start again.  Agree where ‘home’ will be prior to beginning the game.

I normally stand with my back to the children and turn round each time I say a word.

You can also swap places with your child who becomes the wolf and reads the words out to you.

For support

  1. Check the sounds with your child by clapping them first as you say them together.
  2. Show your child how to take one step per sound for each word before he or she begins taking their paces.

Wishing you all a great weekend.

Nicola Palmer

Reception – Playing maths games

I thought it may be useful to share some games that you could play with your child whilst at home in this lockdown period.

Our current maths focus is subitising – up to the number 6.  Subitising is seeing how many are there without counting. This help develops calculation strategies when your child is older.

Many games encourage subitising so at home teaching your child to play games will support subitising. Dominoes, snap, rolling multiple dice to show the same value, are all good games to support subitising. 

Traditional board games, such as Snakes and ladders, Ludo etc. are great for counting and encourage children to rehearse the order of the numbers and match each number to an action. 

You may wish to try the following game at home :


Once your child has identified two dice that are the same value.  Put those dice to one side, roll the remaining dice and keep repeating until you have all the dice the same value.

To extend your child’s learning begin to identify ‘same’, ‘more’ or ‘less’ when subitising. 

Here is another activity you could try at home.

It would be great to see any games played at home on your child’s learning journal – Tapestry.  The children always enjoy sharing their home activities with their friends.

Wishing you a safe, wonderful weekend

Nicola Palmer

Nursery – Mufti day and so much more!

We’ve been very busy in Nursery this week. We’ve been learning, dancing, cooking, playing and so much more…

We continued our Autumn talks by adding different animals like hedgehog, badger, fox and deer to our Treasure bag display. The children were exploring the animals and we even talked about hibernating!!! We made enclosures, so the animals can sleep during the winter.

We worked very hard to keep our finger muscles strong and ready for writing. The children were engaged in different funky fingers activities every morning and truly enjoyed all of them.

Great news! Our pumpkin seeds are now growing and everyone was so excited.

Story of the week was ‘Room on the broom’. The children did potions in the tuff tray using pipettes, spoons and colored water. Don’t forget to say the spell: ‘Iggety, ziggety, zagetty, ZOOM! As always our playdough table was very, very busy. This week we did spiders and the children were counting 8 legs, 2 eyes…

Letters and sounds:

We all went on a listening walk around the school. We listened very carefully and successfully heard an aeroplane, cars and even the wind. Well done Nursery! First we walked around the playground and then all the way to the playing fields. The children did very well preparing their own listening ears bands and practised some cutting and sticking skills.

Let’s not forget the dressing up on a Friday, topped up with some cooking. We made a yummy pumpkin pie and all children took part. My personal opinion….delicious!!! Hope you will enjoy it too!

Have a happy half term week!

Mrs Solakova

Have a great half-term, Year 4!

Well done, everyone. You have worked really hard this half-term, quickly adjusting to the new rules and helping to keep our bubble safe. It’s so good to have you all back at school.

Mr King and I are not setting any formal homework for the holiday. Keep reading and practise your multiplication tables.

Enjoy the half-term break, have fun and keep safe.

See you in November!

Mr Hayes

Reception – Learning to read and write

Letters and Sounds

Today I collected your child’s Letters and Sounds book.  I will collect the books every Thursday and return them on Friday with our new Letters and Sounds learning and sounds added.

I hope you are finding the books useful at home.   This week we have started using magnetic letters to begin to read and spell simple words eg. as, it, is, an, at, map, pat, tap, tip, pip, sat, sit.  All words that use the sounds we have learnt so far.  Thank you for all your support helping your child learn to read at home, I was so impressed at the children’s progress.

For those children who may already be aware of our new sounds, please concentrate on learning to form the letter using the school cursive script.  We call it our ‘whoosh’ writing.  Details are in the Letters and Sounds book. This will really support your child’s future writing skills. 

If your child is not quite ready to hold a pen and write yet, concentrate on lots of hand/ finger skills to develop the small muscles in your child’s hands and fingers.  For example, cooking, gardening, getting dressed/undressed (especially buttons) or doing up their coat zip.

This week I introduced a game on a website called Phonics Play

The Phonics Play website has some fantastic phonics games.   Whilst there is a subscription charge, this is currently being halved and some games are free. Reception children are currently working on Phase 2 so just click on the Phase 2 games.

Precautionary note:   Remember e-safety supervision. St. Adrian’s  website includes a useful e-safety advice  link.

Here is another game we have played in class today.  You may wish to have a go at home.

Which One?

Lay out a selection of familiar objects with names that contain three sounds (e.g. bus, pig, pen, cup, dog).

Check your child can recognise each object.

Ask your child to listen carefully while you sound talk the name of one of the objects, leaving a short gap between each sound eg. b-u-s

Help your child to put the sounds together and say the word and identify the object.

Once your child can confidently listen to your ‘sound talking’ and blend the sounds together, perhaps your child may like to have a go at ‘sound talking’ each object.  This will help your child learn to spell words using their knowledge of phonics.

I am currently organising my routine to set a weekly ‘changing reading books’ day.  Next week I will change the reading books and words strips on Monday.  Books and other reading materials will then be changed on Tuesdays.   Please do let me know if you feel your child needs new books at any other time.   However, ensure you read each book with your child at least three times before requesting a new book This will help build confidence, fluency and comprehension. Spend 10 minutes each day if possible, frequent and short is best. 

Thank you again for all your support.

Nicola Palmer

Year 3 RE learning – Promises

We are now moving onto the theme of ‘Promises’ in our RE learning. Our lives are marked by many different experiences of being welcomed into new situations and groups. We recognise the importance of welcome, of feeling comfortable with new situations and belonging to new groups. We belong to families, to work places and to social groupings.

Christians believe that everyone is invited to share in the life and work of God through Baptism. The Bible recounts God’s invitations to people to share in his life and work: among them Moses, Samuel, the prophets, Mary and the apostles.

“Through Baptism, men and women are incorporated into Christ. They are formed into God’s people and they obtain the forgiveness of all their sins. They become a new creation through water and the Holy Spirit. Hence they are called and are indeed children of God. Signed with the gift of the Spirit in Confirmation, Christians more perfectly become the image of their Lord and are filled with the Holy Spirit. They bear witness to him before all the world and eagerly work for the building up of the body of Christ.” (General Introduction to the Rite of the Christian Initiation of Adults)

Word of God

“The next day, John again was standing with two of his disciples, and as he watched Jesus walk by, he exclaimed, ‘Look, here is the Lamb of God!’ The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus. When Jesus turned and saw them following, he said to them, ‘What are you looking for?’ They said to him, ‘Rabbi (which translated means ‘Teacher’), where are you staying?’ He said to them, ‘Come and see.’ They came and saw where he was staying, and they remained with him that day.” (John 1:35-39)

Prayer and Reflection

Almighty and eternal God,
you keep together those you have united.
Look kindly on all who follow Jesus your Son.
We are all consecrated to you by our common baptism;
make us one in the fullness of faith
and keep us one in the fellowship of love.

(Prayer for Various Occasions: for Unity of Christians)

Reception – We are enthusiastic learners

Some of the children were fascinated by insects we discovered in the garden. This generated many enquiries about all the different types of bugs, what they eat, where they live etc. The children played with our ‘big bug’ set and we used a bug chart to find out the name of each bug. This was a good opportunity for the children to make comparisons and look at differences and similarities.

We have been exploring many messy play opportunities such as ‘gloop’ (cornflour, water and food colouring). This inspired the children’s inquisitive minds and they decided to add bubbly water and recreate a volcano. Watch this space for more scientific experiments!

Our creativity table has been very popular and the children have been learning many basic techniques such as joining, sticking and decorating. We have been encouraging the children to plan with a purpose in mind. Treasure boxes being a popular choice this week.

Today the children experienced a fun rainy day. We used powder paints and washing up liquid in the puddles to mix bubbly colours. A good opportunity to develop the children’s fine motor skills (small muscles in hands and fingers). Not to mention the finger skills required when changing into dry clothes.

May I take this opportunity to remind parents to send in a pair of named wellington boots that we can keep at school.

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend.

Nicola Palmer