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Willow 2018 2019

Welcome to Willow Class 2018-19

April 2019 - Read Write Inc Update

All Willow Class pupils have been reassessed and we will let you know which colour group your child will be working in after half term, at parent consultation evenings (2nd and 3rd April).

Remember that the reading books are sent home every 3rd day and must be returned after the second night at home to ensure there are adequate resources in school for other groups. Photocopied sheets of red and green words or ditties should be kept at home for further practice. Children who now know all the sounds of the alphabet and the special friends qu, sh, ch, th, ng, nk will be bringing home a small yellow sounds book to help them practice the next set of sounds (set 2) that they will be learning. This yellow sounds book contains all the sounds that they will learn in reception AND year 1 so please do not think they have to learn them all in the next few weeks! As always it is better for children to recognise a new sound and be able to blend with it in words and write words with it rather than learning lots of new sounds but not the skills to use them in reading and writing.


Borrowing Books from the School Library

As a general rule of thumb if your child is reading:

Red RW Inc story books they should be accessing red stickered books from the school library

Green RW Inc story books they should be accessing yellow stickered books from the school library

Purple RW Inc story books they should be accessing blue stickered books from the school library

Pink RW Inc story books they should be accessing green stickered books from the school library

However, all RW Inc books are fully decodable (they only contain the sounds that the children have been taught so far) and not all our school library stock is. Try to find the Songbird, Floppy Phonics, Bug Club, Oxford Traditional tales or Project X books, within these colour levels, as these contain more decodable words.

Updated March 2019

We do not set formal homework in Reception Class however there are several activities that would really benefit your child. We would very much encourage little and often (perhaps no more than 5 mins at any one time). Click on the link below to take you to the homework page of the website.

Happy Easter from Willow Class

Spring 2

'Medieval Mayhem'




Welcome to 'The Castle Cafe'

We loved all the domino maths challenges at our Maths Cafe.

When it rains...make an umbrella.

Constructing and painting our castle!

Spring 2 Curriculum Overview can be viewed below.

Spring 2

Due to the children's continued interest in our animals topic we have extended the theme for an additional 2 weeks. Children really enjoyed the Big Bird Watch, making bird feeders and recording the birds that visit Willow Class outdoor area. They showed great curiosity in sorting objets according to different properties (like shiny and dull, magnetic and non-magnetic), just like the magpie story we watched. They particularly enjoyed the challenge of  getting across the playground avoiding the 'Enormous Crocodiles' and worked as a team to build stepping stones and bridges to avoid being eaten!

They also enjoyed  learning the 'Walking Through the Jungle' story and are making their own class version.

Painting black and white animals. How many can you think of?

Watch out there's a tiger about! Don't worry we wrote some warning signs.

Making igloos indoors and outdoors.

Pancake Day in Willow Class!

Mr Wolf's Pancakes (Full storybook with music)

We loved the story of Mr Wolf's Pancakes. It reminded us of another story. Can you guess what it was?

Spring 1

'A Walk on the Wild Side'

We would like to welcome Mrs Butler to EYFS who is on a 7 week PGCE placement at NJK this term.


Week 5 - Trying not to be eaten by 'The Enormous Crocodile'.

Week 4 - Investigating 3d shapes and the texture and apperance of different materials.

Maths 30-50  months

Beginning to talk about the shapes of everyday objects, • e.g. ‘round’ and ‘tall’.


40 to 60+ months

Beginning to use mathematical names for ‘solid’ 3D shapes and ‘flat’ 2-D shapes, and mathematical terms to describe shapes. 

Selects a particular named shape.

Week 3 - Big School's Bird Watch

Week 2 - Washing and grooming the ponies, making models of animals and opening the vets surgery.

We have been finding out what our friend's favourite fruit and colours are this week. Some children also wrote their own register too. 40-60 Maths I can record using marks that I can interpret and explain.

Week 1 - So much counting happening this week! Also playing cooperatively with our friends.

A very merry Christmas to you all from Mrs Marshall, Mrs Pasmore, Mrs Goode, Mrs Wallbank and Miss Furlong

Enjoy your break and we look forward to seeing you in 2019!


Autumn 2

'Celebrations and Special Occasions'

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

It's starting to feel a lot like Christmas!

We are very excited about our class visit to 'The Santa Safari' at West Midlands Safari Park, planned for the 19th December. Not only is it an amazing experience for the children just before we break up but we also be using the visit as an introduction to our new theme/topic next half term which is called 'Walk on the Wild Side!'

Letters and consent forms will be put in book bags on Monday 26th November.

Week 3

We have been learning about the Hindu festival of Diwali. We have made rangoli patterns using chalk and rice, decorated Diwali cards, drawn around our hands and practised some mehndi patterns and made our own diva lamps. We have watched some CBBC News Round and CBeebies clips about Diwali and this afternoon we listened to some Hindu music while Mrs Marshall lit our diva lamps. We turned out all the lights and it was beautiful. We have been playing shops this week  and learning how to count out coins, identify different coins and understand that some coins have a greater value than others.

Lots of children have also written a sentence starting 'I can...' using their sounds knowledge.

Please continue to practise all the sounds in the RW Inc green sounds book that you were given at parents evening. We taught all 31 sounds last half term and have spent the last 3 weeks revising sounds that children are still unsure of. We will continue to revise these sounds and will be reassessing and regrouping before Christmas. 

Next week we will be tasting some indian foods and making a bar chart to see which was our favourite.

Learning about Diwali

Exploring ice!

Week 2

Learning how to ride a bike with Balancability.


Still image for this video

Printing with neon colours and creating firework night collages.

Week 1

We will be starting the second half of the autumn term with a bang! We return to school  on 'Remember, remember the 5th of November' so we will be setting up firework provocations for the children. Due to the success of Read Write Inc we are confident that lots of children will be able to write accompanying 'firework themed' labels for our 'Celebrations and Special Occasions' display.

It is likely that most children will already have attended an organised fireworks event by then but here is Fireman Sam to remind us all how to stay safe.

Fireman Sam Official: Bonfire Night Safety Tips

Have a Fantastic Half term!

We have sent home the outcomes of your child's phonics assessment for this half term (Friday). We have learnt 31 sounds and the note will tell you how many sounds that your child has retained and able to recall.

Please remember to use the speed sounds book given out at parent's evening to help your child practise the sound for each letter and the special friends. A lot of children were able to say the handwriting phrase, but could not necessarily recall the actual sound for the letter. The phrases are important to help them form their letters correctly but knowing the sounds will ensure that they are well on the way in their reading and writing journey. 

Autumn 1

All About Me and My Environment

Week 8

After some discussion with the children,  who wanted to plant some seeds in the outdoor area, we decided that like real farmers we should find a way of protecting the seeds from the birds. There were several options but a scarecrow was the most popular! This week we will be making a scarecrow and labelling with names of body parts and we will read 'Scarecrows Wedding' by Julia Donaldson. We will be cutting out our own scarecrows and ordering numbers on pumpkins. Once the scarecrow is in place we will also plant some seeds and herbs.

Children have been practising their counting and writing skills. We have provided opportunities for children to practise skills and achieve their next steps. A group of children helped us turn all the clothes the right way out ready to dress the scarecrow. It was great to see 2 children working together to fasten buttons too.

The Scarecrows' Wedding

Written by Julia Donaldson and with illustrations by Axel Scheffler, this wonderful story about Harry and Betty.

The Dingle Dangle Scarecrow is a fun actions song.

Week 7

We continue with our harvest and seasonal food theme. We have been watching the farmer at work in the field behind the playground driving his tractor. He seems very busy. We have been trying to guess what he will plant next. Time will tell.

This weeks tuff trays will be themed around the farmer and his field, we will be getting creative with our toy tractors and dissolving orange bath bombs using pipettes in the water table. 

Last week, some of the children noticed some carrots growing (I wonder where they came from) in the digging pit. They dug them up and counted them. Some of the children pretended to make carrot soup with them. They shared them equally between bowls that they collected from the home corner kitchen and someone even suggested that coriander would go well with the soup! This week we will be making real carrot soup.

We will also be assessing the children's sounds knowledge and counting skills before half term.


Now we know where the conkers are disappearing to!

Still image for this video

Week 6

We have enjoyed listening to, sharing and joining in with some lovely harvest themed books and stories this week. We had great fun painting with autumnal colours, using tights and balloons and printing using fruits and vegetables.


Planting and watering turnip seeds. Growing and harvesting the 'Enormous Turnip!'

Week 5

We had a 'shapetastic' inspirational maths week last week and our shape work was based around shapes in our environment (we went on a shape hunt) and famous artists who had used shapes in their art work.

The display in the cloakroom is almost complete, just a few last pieces of art work to go up. We hope you enjoy looking at it when you come to parent's evening next week. We also had our open morning and a parent's phonics workshop. Details of which can be found below, if you were unable to attend.

Further information will be available from Mrs Dean during both parent's evenings.

This week we are investigating autumn and harvest time. We will be going on a  nature walk around school looking for signs of autumn, using conkers to count and weigh, digging for carrots, investigating fruits and vegetables with pips and trying to answer 'How many pips in a  pumpkin?'

We loved creating our own hedgehogs with nutmeg playdoh, pasta spikes and google eyes. We learnt that hedgehogs hibernate and made them a cosy bed of their own.



It was wonderful to see so many of you at the Phonics Workshop last Friday afternoon. If you were unable to attend, the two short clips that were shared are on the 'Curriculum, English, Reading including phonics, Read Write Inc' page of the school website. Alternatively click on the link below to take you straight to the relevant page.


Here is a image showing all the sounds and the order in which they are taught. We are teaching 'e' today (2.10.18) so will be teaching 'l' tomorrow (3.10.18).

We will be sending sound books home to help you support your child in recognising and forming the sounds that we have taught so far, after parents evening, next week.

Week 4

The transition from bringing children in to school, to saying goodbye at the gates was very smooth last week and we will be letting you know the dates of our stay and play sessions soon.

A couple of reminders:

Your child is welcome to bring in a snack for break time but in line with our 'Healthy School's' policy, this must be a piece of fresh fruit or vegetable. Also, a free piece of fruit/vegetable is provided for each child, everyday, so there is always snack available. Staff check that everybody has a snack everyday.

If you wish to take advantage of the free school meal that all reception children are entitled to but are not sure how to access this, please speak to Mrs Cross in the office. I can vouch that the children think they are rather good.

Please ensure your child has a water bottle in school. We try hard to ensure that children are drinking an adequate amount of water and water bottles are available to access all day. There are also drinking fountains at school and some children have been accessing these too. If you child forgets to bring their water bottle to school we will ensure that they have access to water and lunch supervisors make sure all children have a drink at lunchtime.

Please double check that all your child's belongings are named. We have had to put several items in to the lost property already, as we have not been able to reunite them with their owner.

Week 3

This week your children will be saying goodbye to you at the school gates and the EYFS team will be on hand to ensure that they settle and organise their belongings ready for registration at 9am. Last week your children played on the 'big' playground, ate their lunch in the hall happily and joined in with collective worship twice. They are taking everything in their stride and this week we will have PE. It is therefore crucial that all your child's clothing is named (including shoes).


If you wish to borrow books from the school library please take your child through the main entrance doors by the school office. The library is open 8.45-9.00 every morning. We suggest that you start choosing black sticker books, as these are books that you will be able to read to your children and share together.

Pink sticker books are the first books that reception children will attempt to read. Some have no words and learning how to hold a book, turn the pages and discuss a story are crucial skills in their reading journey.

Our First PE lesson!

Exploring Using Our Senses - Smell (and exercising our hand and arm muscles by snipping herbs and squeezing lemons)

Week 2

Time flies when you are having fun and that is what we have all been doing!

We are settling in to our new surroundings and over the past two weeks children have been making friends, sharing experiences and exploring all the new learning areas and opportunities available to them in EYFS.

Staff have enjoyed getting to know your children better  and catching up with you about their day.

Your children have settled well and rest assured that if there are any concerns we would speak to you.


In case your child cannot remember what they have been doing, here is just a glimpse of some of the learning that has been taking place.


Preparing meals in the home corner, counting out cupcakes into cupcake cases, looking after Basil our home corner dog, taking the babies for a walk and making sure they go to sleep, sharing out dried pasta so that everyone gets the same and it is fair, picking up play food with tongs, setting the table with cutlery, cleaning and tidying the home corner, inviting others to join us for dinner, dressing up as police officers and ensuring the area is safe, dressing up as doctors and making sure everyone is healthy, dressing up as a postie and delivering very important letters and packages to members of the class; dressing up and working on the worksite mending, building, planning and using tools safely, creating models with Playdoh, cutting, snipping, rolling and flattening, stretching our important muscles in our hands, drawing on the chalkboard, paper and whiteboards, sharing stories and acting out traditional tales, peeling satsumas and bananas, trying new foods, singing songs and joining in with action rhymes, learning to sit for short periods of time whilst listening carefully, learning special rhymes for our sounds, looking at the shapes of letters trying our best to write them down, putting sounds together to make short words, writing our name, counting, sorting, sharing, matching, creating patterns, making a shop, constructing roads, train tracks and bridges, painting self portraits, drawing ourselves, learning about each other, thinking about how we can be kind to others, how we get ready for lunch and at the end of the day, mixing colours, taking turns, making a campfire, decorating our den, taking responsibility for our personal belongings, digging, shifting, carrying and moving small and large objects, negotiating obstacles, balancing, climbing, hiding, sliding, rocking, rolling, stretching, tapping, sawing, turning, tightening, measuring, comparing, deciding, thinking, investigating, experimenting, pouring, sieving, squeezing, patting, decanting, floating, sinking........The list really does go on because your children are inquisitive and curious and the EYFS team are dedicated to providing opportunities to extend your child's learning wherever they choose to play.


We still have several areas which the children have not explored yet and these will be introduced to them over the next couple of weeks. 

Such a lot happens in EYFS.

Week 1

The whole team have been busily preparing for Tuesday. We can’t wait to see you all again. Remember that you are welcome to bring your child into school and help them with coats and lunch boxes and help them settle in the classroom. We ask that you exit the classroom in readiness for registration at 9.15. We will of course be on hand to smooth the transition.

Half Termly Curriculum Newsletters

Pre-September Transition Information For Parents