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Year R

Summer Term in Year R

This term in school we aim to prepare the children for transition to Year 1. We encourage them to be increasingly independent at school, being responsible for their learning, their behaviour as well as their own belongings.

Continuing to develop their reading skills is also very important to prepare them to access the Year 1 curriculum and we ask that all children are heard read daily at home to support them with this vital life-long skill. Please remember to sign your child's Reading Record and to make sure they have their reading book and reading record in school every day.

This term we have lots of exciting things to look forward to. In the first half term our new topic is Fur, Feathers and Fins. We will start learning about dinosaurs. Following dinosaurs we will be learning about farm animals and are looking forward to Miller's Ark mobile farm visiting us. The children will have the opportunity to see some farm animals close-up, perhaps stroke them if they wish, and to ask questions and find out more about them. Finally this half term the children will be learning about pet animals, the types of animals that people keep as pets, talking about their own pets, and may be thinking about one they would like to own!

As well as the mobile farm visit the children will experience a visit to the Life Education Bus this half term and will be learning about naming parts of the body as well as meeting Harold the Giraffe who is always very popular.

Here is the overview of what the children will be learning during the first half term
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Spring Term in Year R


This term in school we aim to continue to develop the children's independence in their self-help skills as well as their learning. We encourage them to become more responsible for their own actions, to negotiate with their peers should a disagreement occur when playing and to further develop their social skills through their learning.

In the first half of the term our new topic is 'Let's Celebrate'. The children will be learning about 2018 being a new year and a new start. They will be thinking about the tradition of making new year's resolutions and trying to make some of their own. They will be learning about birthdays and how we celebrate them with our families and friends. Later in the half term the children will be learning about Chinese New Year and we are very much looking forward to participating in an exciting workshop where the children will be playing Chinese music, learning some Chinese words, perhaps dressing up as a Chinese lion, dancing, and being part of a Chinese dragon.

In the second half of the term our top is 'Superheroes'. The children will be learning about the qualities that make a good superhero. They will make their own mini-me superhero and will write their own superhero qualities in a passport. The children will also be thinking about their mums as superheroes as we celebrate Mothers' Day and will be learning about signs of Spring and eggs as a sign of new life at Easter time.


Here are the overviews to show some of the learning in each topic.



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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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Please click below to view the presentation slides from the Year R curriculum meeting held on Friday 22nd 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 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 at the introduction of the Phonics Evening 2017 and click here for the slides from the reading workshop from the same night.



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 and handwriting from the Phonics Evening.

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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