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Year R

Year R to 1 transition

Thank you to those of you who have attended our Year R to 1 'stay and play' sessions.  Hopefully you found it a useful opportunity to meet your child's new teacher and to find out a bit more about what to expect in Year 1.  As promised, here are the slides from the talk.  There will also be a curriculum presentation in September.

Summer B in Year R

Our final topic for the year is 'If you go down to the woods today...'.

It is based around the theme of teddy bears and will involve one of our furry friends participating in lots of learning with us at school.

Please see below for some of the skills we will be reinforcing for the last few weeks of the term, many of which will help us with our transition to Year 1.

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Summer A in Year R

Although we are still waiting for the sunny weather to arrive and stay it has not stopped us making the most of the outdoor environment for our learning.

So far this term we have been outdoors washing clothes and bathing baby dolls; experimenting with water and moving objects quickly and slowly down the pipes and tubes; comparing the capacity of different sized containers by filling and emptying and measuring the length and mass of objects using a range of different resources.

As well as all this, in the classroom we have been using the small world to create under the sea stories; using The Lighthouse Keeper and Rainbow Fish stories as stimuli for a range of curriculum areas and finding out about Victorian seaside holidays by exploring the old trunk that Lenny found washed up at the seaside.

Please see the curriculum map below for some of the skills we will be incorporating into our topic this half term.

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Spring B in Year R


Although the weather has been a bit changeable lately it has not stopped us using the outdoor area for our learning. Last half term saw snow and frost which provided good starting points for investigating how materials can change. We also used the outdoors for large scale Jackson Pollock painting and finding 2D shapes within everyday objects.

As the weather improves we shall be observing changes in the environment, welcoming a mobile farm and using a whole range of animals as stimuli for our learning. Later this half term we shall be taking part in lots of different Easter activities.



Please find below some of the skills we will be developing this half term within our new topic 'Fur, feathers and fins'.


We would ask that you continue to practise the phonemes and the key words by sight that are listed in the back of the red diary. We are also learning to spell these key words and are looking for the children to be able to apply an increasing range of the sounds learnt in their writing.

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Spring term in Year R


Our new topic for this half of the term is Abracadabra!


The children will have a very exciting visitor to help them explore and learn about magic.


Below is an outline of some of the skills we will be focusing on during this topic.

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Professor Potty came and showed us some magic tricks which we have tried out in our magician's role play.



Autumn Term in Year R


Our main focus for the beginning of term is helping the children to feel happy and safe in their new learning environment. Lots of time is dedicated to ensuring the children are familiar with adults, their peers and making friends.


After the initial settling in period we will begin to introduce learning through our topic of 'Humpty Dumpty and friends'. For the second half of the term our topic will be 'After the storm'.


Here are the overviews to show some of the learning we will be doing in each topic.

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Autumn B in Year R


Now that the children have settled in and have become more confident and independent we have gradually introduced focused learning activities for the children to demonstrate, develop and apply their knowledge and skills.


Daily phonics and Whizzy maths sessions are well established alongside other aspects of the curriculum such as P.E., ICT and the creative arts.


Please find below some of the ways in which we will be supporting and extending the children in their development this half term.

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Please click here to view the presentation slides from the Year R curriculum meeting held on Friday 23rd September.

Key information


We follow a daily phonics programme based on the 'Letters and Sounds' scheme. We teach the children to use sounds in their purest form in order for them to blend and read words successfully e.g. 's' not 'suh'. A copy of the sounds taught will be available in the back of your child's red reading diary.


Please click here to see the phonemes by order of teaching.


Please click here to see how to pronounce the phonemes correctly.


Please click here to see some ideas for phonics activities to do with your child.


Please click here to see the information provided about Phonics at the October Phonics evening.


Key words

By the end of Year R it is expected that the majority of children will recognise all 62 key, high frequency words on sight and be able to spell most of them. These words are taught within phonics sessions and revisited regularly.  A copy will be available in the back of your child's red reading diary.

Please click here to see the key words for Year R by order of teaching. 



After being assessed by their class teacher, your child may start to bring home a scheme book in their book bag. The red reading diary is used for you to record in when you have listened to your child read; this is also where adults in school will record when they have read with your child.  


Please click here to view the information shared about reading on the Phonics Evening 2016.



Learning to spell is a gradual process and it is important to encourage early attempts even though they may not be accurate. It is important that your child says the letter sounds as he/she writes them to be able to recognise the sound/symbol correspondence.

It is important that the children can write words individually as well as in the context of a sentence e.g. My mum is lovely. We would expect 'My', 'mum' and 'is' to be spelt correctly (as they are Year R key words) and a good attempt at 'lovely'.


Letter formation

Please see below for how children in Year R are taught to form their letters.  Towards the end of Year R some children may start to join their handwriting. 

It is extremely important that your child uses a comfortable and efficient pencil grip, even though this may not be the same as your own. This should be the pincer grip.
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Please click here to view the slides about motor skills, handwriting and spelling from the Phonics evening held at school on Wednesday 12th October.

How can I support my child at home?


  • Help your child to practise dressing and undressing including being able to turn clothes the right way out
  • Help your child to practise putting on his/her coat and doing/undoing the fastenings
  • Practise cutting up food
  • Make sure child is confident in cleaning themselves after using the toilet including washing hands thoroughly
  • Develop independence and thinking skills by encouraging your child to think for themselves and solve simple problems with minimal prompting
  • Play games which might involve turn taking, rolling dice or moving counters
  • Practise handling different tools such as pencils, scissors, paintbrushes, tweezers, using a correct grip
  • Sing songs and rhymes, anticipating words and repetitive phrases
  • Share stories together, discussing the pictures, plot and characters
  • Read and spell words from the Year R key word list
  • Practise writing your child's full name with correct letter formation
  • Practise writing individual letters, starting in the correct place
  • Read, write and order numbers from 0-10 and 0-20
  • Practise counting a number of objects accurately, using strategies such as pointing, moving and lining objects up
  • Finding pairs of numbers that make 10 as well as other numbers e.g. 5 = 0+5, 1+4, 2+3, 3+2, 4+1, 5+0

Climbing the tree to a better me


Our special tree focuses on the Social, Moral, Spiritual and Social aspect of our learning. In Year R we are practising using our manners, being a good friend and being respectful and responsible.


We can earn three stars for each rung of the ladder and at the end of the year we can earn a special sticker at the top of the tree for our effort in trying to show these things.


When we have collected three stars of the same colour we can show our certificate in assembly and our name is moved up the ladder in class to show our progress.

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