Nursery – Shapes, shapes, shapes

It was lovely to see so many of you back to Nursery. The children were full of Christmas stories and festive experiences. A big thank you for your Tapestry observations. I really appreciate all the home learning you are doing with your children. It is lovely to see all the videos and pictures you are posting.

This week we were busy learning shapes. We began with a lovely shape song. You can have a go too:

The shapes were all around the classroom. We had shape molds in the sand, printed shapes on the art table and shape roads in our small world area. The children did so well naming different shapes, counting sides and corners and noticing them around the classroom and outside area. Well done everybody…

Funky fingers:

We popped packing bubble wrap and were listening carefully to hear the POP!!! We practiced our name writing and even did lovely WOOSH!!! We did patterns using small mosaic… Great effort!

Letters and sounds:

This week the children played different Alliteration games like I spy and Bertha goes to the Zoo. Why don’t you have a go too:

Bertha goes to the zoo:

Set up a small toy zoo animals in a bag and a toy bus, and join your child as they play with it. Chant the following rhyme and allow your child to draw an animal out of the bag and add an animal name to the list of animals spotted at the zoo. “Bertha the bus is going to the zoo, Who does she see as she passes through? … A pig, a panda, a parrot and a polar bear.”

Religious education:

We’ve been reading the story of Simeon and Anna. Here is the link if you want to watch again at home:

We role played the story using story puppets and the children were so good retelling it. We talked about baby Jesus as a very special baby and how Jesus is presented by his parents at the temple, and noticed by Simeon and Anna. Jesus is the light of the World ! Jesus is the savior of the world! To support our learning we did lovely candles, using gems and shiny paper.

Have a lovely weekend!

Mrs Solakova

Reception Home Learning – 15.01.21

Good morning parents and children,

I notice from your posts on Tapestry that many children are enjoying The Gingerbread Man story.  We’re going to do some more learning about the story for one more week.   So watch this space for more Gingerbread Man fun next week.

Communication and Language

 Understanding question words using stories

Asking questions about stories is a way of finding out what children know, understand and can remember.  It also encourages children to be reflective. 

We’ve already explored The Gingerbread Man story with lots of reflective questions.  I’ve compiled some more specific questions relating to our Gingerbread Man story which will deepen your child’s learning.

  • What did the Little Old Woman do to make the Gingerbread Man?
  • What happened when the Little Old Woman opened the oven?
  • Why did the Gingerbread Man run away?
  • Why did everyone chase him?
  • Why do you think everyone wanted to eat the Gingerbread Man?
  • Why did the Gingerbread Man stop when he reached the river?
  • Why didn’t the fox tell the Gingerbread Man he wanted to eat him?
  • How did the fox trick the Gingerbread Man?
  • Why did the Gingerbread Man trust the fox?  Would you?

Challenge your child to ask you a question.  Maybe take turns.  What about making it into ‘Quiz Time’ game – who can get the most points?  What will the winner’s prize be?  Perhaps choose your own story for this game.

Literacy/Letters and Sounds

Make a story chair/story area

Create a specially decorated chair or story area with your child. This then becomes a special place for your child to tell all sorts of stories.  All you need to do is choose a chair and drape different fabrics over it or your child may wish to make some decorations for the chair.  Maybe add dressing up clothes, fairy lights, some writing materials etc. 

Today’s new sound – ‘igh’ (trigraph three letters but one sound)

Here is a video to introduce the sound.  It also has a little reading challenge at the end.

This video supports blending and reading words that include the ‘igh’ sound.

Below is the action for ‘igh’ :  

Show your child how to write ‘igh’ using the correct letter formation.

Letter formation for ‘i’, ‘g’ and ‘h’ can be found in your child’s letters and sounds book.

Encourage your child to ‘have a go’ at writing the ‘igh’ sound. 

If your child is ready for a challenge, ask your child to write the following words:

For extra challenge, maybe your child could write a sentence and draw a picture to accompany the sentence. 


Creating varied patterns and independently

This step should feel like a natural flow from the previous steps and many thanks to those children who have already shown me their independent patterns.

  • Provide materials (eg. bricks, stones, twigs, knives, forks, spoons, cars, beads, buttons) for your child to create their own pattern.
  • Again, ensure your child can talk about their pattern and identify where it repeats.
  • Parents, try creating your own pattern and present deliberate errors. Ask your child to ‘fix’ the problem.
  • Create patterns for a purpose – wrapping paper for a birthday or a design for a dinner place mat for example.

Baking a Gingerbread Man

I have posted on the Memo section of Tapestry a simple gingerbread recipe.  Your child could, of course, make any sort of biscuit depending upon the cutters available at home.

Here are some ideas to support your child’s learning:

  • Talk about the sequence of the recipe and involve your child in following the numbered steps.
  • Encourage your child to read the recipe with you eg. stop at a word, say ‘mix’, and pretend to struggle ‘Can you read that word for me?’
  • Talk about numbers throughout your cooking activities such as how many eggs or spoonfuls you might need.
  • Place all of the ingredients you need for the recipe on a tray and ask your child to pass them to you by asking specific questions such as ‘pass me the ingredient that is beside the flour, or behind the eggs’. The game can continue with your child naming the positions of ingredients to you.
  • Teach your child how to use the scales and how to read the dial or numerals. You can also encourage your child to guess which of two items is heavier or lighter by holding one in each hand, for example a bag of sugar in one hand and a bag of flour in the other. Check if your child’s estimate was correct.
  • Cooking together lends itself ideally to talking about time. How long will the gingerbread people take to cook?  Set timers together on your cooker, freestanding timer or phone.

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend.

Nicola Palmer

Reception Home Learning – 14.01.21

Good morning parents and children,

Welcome to today’s Reception home learning.

Communication and Language

Word webs

This activity will help your child build their vocabulary.

What to do:

  • Choose a word to start a discussion.   I often find when I am reading stories to children a word that we are unfamiliar with always pops up.  Below I have suggested some possible words from our Gingerbread Man story. 

decided, bellowed, neighed, river, scrambled, unfortunately, gulp

  • Write the word in the middle of a piece of paper eg. ‘river’
  • Ask your child what he/she knows about ‘river’
  • If your child can’t think of anything you could look at a book or Google together and start the discussion from there.
  • Encourage your child to lead the conversation and write down his or her ideas linking them together.  Perhaps your child could draw some pictures.
  • This is a nice activity for you to model writing ‘scribing’.  However, you could just sit and chat about your word.

Talking about new words in this way helps your child remember the new words.  This because they will be making links between new vocabulary and old vocabulary.

Literacy/Letters and Sounds

Retell the story of the Gingerbread Man

Now it’s time to start using our story map and encouraging your child to retell the story independently.  I have posted a transcript of the story on the Memo section of Tapestry to help you guide your child.

Begin by telling the story together.  Point to the story map as you retell the story.  Once your child seems confident, you can start to withdraw from saying the words.  Maybe you can just mouth the words or just keep prompting with the actions.  If your child falters in their telling, you can always leap in and keep the story going.  Tell your child ‘When I stop you carry on’.    The aim is to move from you being the dominant teller to becoming a listener.  Your child moves from being the listener to becoming the teller.

Find an audience for the story

The wonderful thing about learning to tell stories is becoming a storyteller and to communicate a story to someone else.  Maybe your child could tell their story to a collection of toys.  Perhaps even pretend each toy is one of their friends from class.  Other ideas are to ring or Zoom a family member or you could set up a theatre performance at home.  I’m sure your child would love to use your phone to record their story.  As usual, all use of technology with supervision.

Today’s new sound – ‘ee’ (digraph two letters but one sound)

Here’s a video to introduce the sound.

This video supports blending and reading words that include the ‘ee’ sound.

Below is the action for ‘ee’.

Show your child how to write ‘ee’ using the correct letter formation.

Letter formation for ‘e’ can be found in your child’s letters and sounds book.

Encourage your child to ‘have a go’ at writing the ‘ee’ sound. 

If your child is ready for a challenge, ask your child to write a couple of words from the following selection:

For extra challenge, maybe your child could write a sentence and draw a picture to accompany the sentence.   I expect this may result in some funny pictures!


Identifying the unit of repeat and describing

Build a tower as an example of a vertical pattern, for example, with coloured or different sized construction bricks. Stop part the way through a unit of repeat to see whether your child can continue it.  Ask your child to describe the repetition eg. ‘See if you can find where the pattern begins and ends’ or ‘Count the repeats and show them’.   Of course, you could always make your pattern using a different material available at home.

For extra challenge, you could also play a board game, such as Snakes and Ladders, and ask ‘Can you see any patterns here?’

Expressive Arts and Design

Gingerbread Man on the Run

I have posted on the Memo section of Tapestry this fun song.   Sing to the tune of ‘London Bridge is Falling Down’.


Finally, in the absence of your child being able to change their reading books at school, may I recommend the following website.

Click on Comics and start with the Phase 2 comics. 

A Nap
Rick the Duck
A Bug

If your child can read the Phase 2 comics fluently, with confidence and a good understanding, move onto the Phase 3.   Your child hasn’t learnt all of the Phase 3 sounds yet.  However, the following comics in the Phase 3 category are suitable if your child is ready.

Pet a Vet
I can Spot

Please do not hesitate to ask if you have any questions regarding your child’s reading or any other home activities.  Email the School Office or post an observation on Tapestry.

My thoughts are with you and hope everyone is well and keeping safe.

Nicola Palmer

Reception Home Learning – 13.01.21

Good morning parents and children,

Communication and Language

Making predictions

Making predictions can be quite complex for little ones because it involves analysing information and bringing ideas together.  It helps children think about problems to decide what they could do next.  Also, when your child is reading to you, being able to make predictions about the story supports comprehension.

  • Read a story together.  This could be a story book or maybe your child’s reading book.
  • Read a few pages to introduce the characters.
  • At key places, stop and before you turn the page ask ‘What do you think might happen next?’
  • When you read the next page ask ‘Was your prediction right?’

If your child needs a little support, ask more direct questions eg. Goldilocks and The Three Bears – ‘Whose house do you think she will find?’ or offer alternatives for your child to choose from.

Literacy/Letters and Sounds

Draw a story map – The Gingerbread Man

Once your child has listened to the story of The Gingerbread Man a couple of times then draw a story map in front of your child.  The maps need to be simple and very clear so that they capture the plot in one go – and can act as a visual reminder. 

Here is an example I created.   

Today’s new sound – ‘ai’ (digraph two letters but one sound)

For a change, I’ve found a different video to introduce the sound.  However, you can always google – Mr Thorne Does Phonics ai – to find out what Geraldine gets up to.

This video supports blending and reading words that include the ‘ai’ sound. 

Below is the action for ‘ai’   – cup one hand over ear, as if hard of hearing, and say ai?

Show your child how to write ‘ai’ using the correct letter formation.

Letter formation for ‘a’ and ‘i’ can be found in your child’s letters and sounds book.

Encourage your child to ‘have a go’ at writing the ‘ai’ sound. 

If your child is ready for a challenge, ask your child to write the following words:

For extra challenge, maybe your child could write a sentence and draw a picture to accompany the sentence. 


Continuing a pattern – repeating

If you completed yesterday’s maths activity, your child should be able to recognise the repeating aspect of a pattern.  Continue to explore the step explained yesterday if not (recognising patterns).

Now it’s time to continue a repeating pattern.  Begin by starting a pattern using any objects you have available at home (as suggested yesterday).  Ensure that more than two colours and several shapes are used in varied examples and provide examples of different lengths of units of repetition.  Many children will struggle beyond a repetition that involves four items so adjust the complexity of the pattern according to your child.  Continue to encourage your child to describe the features and repetition.

Another opportunity to continue a pattern can be found by printing (manmade stamps, vegetable printing etc.) and finish each other’s creations by finding and repeating the patterns.  This is how you can have a go at printing with vegetables.

Veggie Stamp!

  • Select any choice of vegetables to cut it in half (take the opportunity to talk about half).
  • Encourage your child to choose 3/4 different vegetables or colours.
  • Dip the flat side of each vegetable in paint and stamp onto some paper in a repeating pattern (depending, of course, if you have paint at home).

Thank you for all the observations posted on Tapestry.  I thought I’d celebrate some of our learning once a week, here goes for this week:

Epiphany and scissor skills

Letters and Sounds/Letter formation

Reading/special story of the day

Scribing a story with some child contributions

Writing for a purpose


Being physical


Congratulations children and parents, you’re doing a great job!

Nicola Palmer

Year 6: Happy New Year!

The first week of our new term began very differently to the one we planned but as usual the children of Year 6 have been undeterred. Lockdown home learning began in earnest and their enthusiasm hasn’t waned.

We are exploring a new class book called, The Children of the King by Sonya Hartnett which is set in World War Two. To help us understand what it was like in Britain during World War Two, we have done some work on evacuees and explored how the propaganda posters of that time were very persuasive. Some children made their own posters.

The children then learned about the evacuation process- what the children were allowed to pack. The children then spent time choosing what they would take with them.

Yesterday, using three Google Meets, the children had a class debate. The children prepared some very persuasive points and debated very respectfully and formally. I was very impressed with their preparation for it.

Being so reliant on technology especially for remote learning, we recognise it is so important for us to be safe online. The children have created some E-Safety posters to remind themselves and us all of how to stay safe.

Today, during our class worship we reflected on how we are all fearfully and wonderfully made. At times we may feel we are struggling or not good enough. Yet we MUST be good enough- God made us! and He made has beautifully.

We pray that God will strengthen us. Just as the evacuees in the 1940s faced new challenges as we do too during this lockdown, we must never forget that He is with us, He will help us and all we have have to do is lean on him as we draw every closer to Him.

Best wishes,

Mrs Gallaher

Reception Home Learning – 12.01.21

Good morning Reception class,

Here are my activities for today.

Communication and Language

Memory Game – Shopping

This is a simple game that I’m sure some of you will be familiar with.  Learning to remember more and more information is a key skill.  As your child’s school life progresses, he or she will need to remember increasingly longer and more complicated information.  This game develops memory skills.

What to do:

  • You start the game by saying ‘I went to the shop and bought a banana’.
  • Your child repeats what you have said and then adds another item ‘I went to the shop and bought a banana and some biscuits’.
  • Now it could be a different family member or back to you.  Repeat the sentence and add another item – and so on until you think it is time to stop!

Variations of this game could be packing for a holiday, tidying up the toys, tv programmes to watch, going on a walk etc.

If your child needs a little support, try using objects to look at first and then move the objects as a reminder of things to recall.

To challenge your child further, try initial sounds (everything begins with a certain sound) or using the letters of the alphabet in order as children choose their items.  To help with this, use a letter chart (if you have one).

Literacy/Letters and Sounds

Listen to the story of The Gingerbread Man again (yesterday’s blog) and encourage your child to join in.   Talk about the story and ask questions to make sure your child fully understands the story.  Here are some example questions:

  • Did you notice any patterns (repetition) in the story eg. ‘Run, run as fast as you can, you can’t catch me I’m the Gingerbread Man’?
  • Was there anything in the story that you’re not sure about?
  • What would you have done if you were …. the little old woman, the fox etc?
  • How would you have felt if you were ….  the gingerbread man, the horse etc?
  • What do you like best about the story?
  • Was there anything you didn’t like about the story?
  • If you could change one thing in the story, what would it be?

If you have a different version of The Gingerbread Man, talk about the differences – which ending does your child prefer?

Today’s new sound – ‘ng’ (digraph two letters but one sound)

Here’s Geraldine again!!!  Watch the next video below for words your child may be able to read and write.

This video supports blending and reading words that include the ‘ng’ sound.

Below is the action for ‘ng’.

Show your child how to write ‘ng’ using the correct letter formation.

Letter formation for ‘n’ and ‘g’ can be found in your child’s letters and sounds book.

Encourage your child to ‘have a go’ at writing the ‘ng’ sound. 

If your child is ready for a challenge, ask your child to write the following words:

For extra challenge, maybe your child could write a sentence and draw a picture to accompany the sentence. 


We are now going to move onto another learning sequence, pattern recognition.

It’s important that your child explores and identifies the regularities, sequencing and repetition that characterise pattern in mathematics. By recognising pattern, your child is beginning to recognise mathematical relationships and algebraic structures that will deepen his or her mathematical understanding.

In this sequence, your child will begin to understand the elements of pattern that can be found in the world around them as a precursor to the exploration of numbers. This will build up your child’s vocabulary to explain and describe patterns as he or she is beginning to generalise, make predictions and draw conclusions from a breadth of experiences.

What to do:

  • You can use any resources available eg. natural materials (twigs, leaves etc), kitchen items (knives, forks, spoons) or toys (duplo bricks of different colours).
  • Create a pattern with the objects.
  • Ask your child “Tell me about the pattern I have made”.  You will probably need to model the language first.  You will be looking for your child to be able to say something like “After each stick there is one leaf”.
  • Emphasise the repeating aspect of the pattern.  You may need to explain what ‘repeat’ means. You will be looking for your child to be able to say “I can see one yellow brick, one blue and one red then they repeat”.

Draw your child’s attention to repeated events in the daily routine, the natural environment, in songs or stories.   What pattern can we hear in The Gingerbread Man story?

Go on a ‘pattern hunt’ around the house or when outside walking.

May I also recommend  Look under ‘Learning Games’ age 3-5.  In the category ‘Ordering and Sequencing’.  Here is a link:

There is an excellent shape game which draws children’s attention to patterns.  You will see three levels to this game so you can adapt according to your child’s needs.

Look out for the Gingerbread Man game on this website.  This game teaches counting, matching and ordering numbers.

Lastly, if you would like some extra activities, try BBC Bitesize for some fun activities aimed at younger children.

Wishing you all a fantastic day.

Nicola Palmer

Year 3 RE learning – Journeys

This half term’s learning in RE will be about journeys. The experience of community is an essential and enjoyable part of life for people of every age and faith. The cycle of a year and the span of a lifetime contain occasions for regular celebrations as well as unexpected surprises, when people want to celebrate with family, friends and communities.

The Church’s celebrations are community occasions. On Sundays, the parish family gathers together. It is a time to remember how much there is to celebrate; a time to say thank you; a time to know that God’s love is offered and made visible here and now in Jesus and in people.  Sacraments are more formal special moments: signs of ‘God-with-us’, who journeys with his people; signs of strength and blessing for life.

Word of God

“Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; this man was righteous and devout, looking forward to the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit rested on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. Guided by the Spirit, Simeon came into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him what was customary under the law, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying, “Master, now you are dismissing your servant in peace, according to your word, for my eyes have seen the salvation which you have made ready in the sight of the nations; a light of revelation for the Gentiles and glory of your people Israel.” (Luke 2:25-32)

Catechism of the Catholic Church

The whole liturgical life of the Church revolves around the Eucharistic sacrifice and the Sacraments. There are seven Sacraments in the Church: Baptism, Confirmation (or Chrismation), Eucharist, Penance, Anointing of the Sick, Holy Orders and Matrimony. (CCC1210)

The feast of the Presentation of the Lord (2 February) marks a thanksgiving celebration for a first-born son.

All those concerned with education should work and plan together to ensure that the children, besides having some idea of God and the supernatural, should also, in proportion to their years and degree of maturity as persons, have some experience of those human values which are involved in Eucharistic celebration: for example, acting together as a community; exchanging greetings; the capacity to listen, to forgive and to ask for forgiveness; the expression of gratitude; the experience of symbolic actions, conviviality and festive celebration.

Prayer and Reflection

Lord, you fulfilled the hope of Simeon who did not die
until he had been privileged to 
welcome the Messiah.
In Sacramental Celebrations we meet the Risen Christ. 
May he continue to give us life.

Welcome back Year 3!

What an interesting week we have all had! Back to school has looked a little different in 2021. Ms McCarthy and I would like to say a big ‘well done’ and ‘thank you’ to year 3 and your parents for working so hard remotely.

We know it’s not been easy, but we have seen some fabulous learning being produced, particularly in English. We have really enjoyed reading your stories based on the book ‘Jack and the Dreamsack’. Plus, your guided reading learning about Alice and Wonderland has been great to see.

We also really enjoyed seeing most you on our class Google meet on Thursday morning. It was great to see most of the class and your fabulous presents you received for Christmas. Ms McCarthy and I would like to hold a weekly class meet in the future so please keep your eyes peeled on your Google classrooms.

Just a reminder that you will now have Maths, English, guided reading and topic subject set at least four times a week and RE set at least three times a week with (hopefully) some collective worship each week. 

Don’t forget to hand in your assignments on time but please let us know if you are finding anything tricky.

Miss Battams and Ms McCarthy 🙂

Reception Home Learning – 11.01.21

Good morning parents and children,

Welcome back to another week of home learning.  This week we are going to start learning the story of The Gingerbread Man, the winner of our vote last week.

May I also take this opportunity to remind parents of the resources recommended on the school website.  Look on the drop down menu under Curriculum/EYFS Support. 

Below is an outline of activities I will provide for this week.  If you’d like to prepare for the cooking activity on Friday, you will need:

A Gingerbread Man cookie cutter
350g plain flour
175g light soft brown sugar
100g butter
1 egg
4 tbsp golden syrup
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
Ground ginger
Icing sugar and sweets for the decoration

Communication and Language

Understanding which day comes next

A reminder of last Tuesday’s post, make a chart together.  This time include the days of the week across the top.  Monday – Friday in a different colour from Saturday – Sunday. The idea is to help your child learn the days of the week eg. what day comes after, before etc.  This can be partially filled in advance or after each event.  Keep reinforcing your child’s understanding of the day ‘before’/’after’ a given day.

This chart will also really help your child in terms of routine and self-esteem during these unpredictable times.  

Literacy/Letters and Sounds

This week, I have planned some activities to help your child learn to retell a story.  We call it talk for writing.  The idea is to develop children’s ability to imitate the language they need for a story orally, before writing their own versions.   In particular, children begin to learn key words and phrases such as ‘once upon a time’ ‘first’ ‘next’ ‘finally’ ‘suddenly’, ‘however’.  Children learn to use these words in speech so that they have the words in their heads when thinking about what to write. 

Ask your child to watch my video retelling the story of The Gingerbread Man.  The story can be found on the Memo section of Tapestry.  Encourage your child to listen to the story first and try to join in with the actions– hope they enjoy it!  In class, we would tell the story orally with actions each day.  In time, children begin to remember the actions and join in. 

Today’s new sound – ‘th’ (digraph two letters but one sound)

There are two ways to say ‘th’, voiced (as in ‘this’) and unvoiced (as in ‘thin’). 

Here is fun Geraldine the Giraffe video to introduce the sound.  Watch the next video for words your child should be able to read and write.

This video supports blending and reading words that include the ‘th’ sound.

Below is the action for ‘th’   – pretend to be a naughty clown and stick out tongue. Can your child find ‘th’ on their sound mat?  This is quite a tricky sound for children – ask your child to look in a mirror to see their tongue sticking out a little when making the sound. 

Show your child how to write ‘th’ using the correct letter formation.

Letter formation for ‘t’ and ‘h’ can be found in your child’s letters and sounds book.

Encourage your child to ‘have a go’ at writing the ‘th’ sound. 

If your child is ready for a challenge, ask your child to write the following words:

For extra challenge, maybe your child could write a sentence and draw a picture to accompany the sentence. 


Here is step 5 of our measuring sequence.   

Ordering a small set of objects by a given attribute.

Story sticks

A story stick is such a great activity to do with children during an outdoor trip. It keeps them busy, helps them learn about nature, and provides a memento to take home.  You also need very little in the way of preparation; just some string or sticky tape.

A story stick features items collected whilst on a walk. These might be things like leaves, twigs, flowers, feathers or anything else natural that you find along the way.  All you need to do is choose a stick and attach items from your journey to it using string or wool.  Younger siblings could use a piece of cardboard instead of a stick; this is easier.

Questions you could ask:

  • Do you want your story stick to have a theme? For example, a colour, all flowers, all leaves. 
  • How long does your stick need to be? Think about how long your walk is!
  • What senses does each item stimulate?
  • What is the story that your story stick is telling? This could be either a retelling of the journey or let your child’s imagination run wild!

Wishing you a great day.

Nicola Palmer