Welcome to your child’s first steps in full time education.
Early Years at St James will guide your child through their penultimate year before they enter the National Curriculum year groups. This year continues your child’s development within the 7 areas of the Early Years Curriculum with a particular focus on teaching your child the skills they need to be able to read and write.
Our year is split up into six topics which underpin our indoor and outdoor provision areas. Our provision allows your child to explore new, exciting things and different ways of engaging in their play. We are currently developing our outdoor area to increase the array of activities we can offer your child. This includes a new small world sensory garden, outdoor reading den, and mud kitchen.
In Early Years our aim is to work closely with parents and support each child in their journey from Early Years to National curriculum. As always, if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask us.
Mr Bell & Mrs Drysdale
Reception class ususally have P.E on a Thursday. Please ensure your child has their P.E kit in school on this day with their name in each items of clothing.
We also change your child’s reading books on a Thursday. We ask that your child reads a minimum of four times per week. Four reads in a week allows your child to place a golden coin on our reading challenge board, which is held between classes in each key stage. The reading challenge is held each half term with the winning class receiving a special prize so please read as much as possible.
We do access our outdoor area in all weathers so we ask if your child could bring a pair of wellington boots to keep in school so they do not miss any opportunity for outdoor learning.
This half term is based on settling your children into life here at St James. Our topic for the half term is Pirates!
As your children settle into school life we have the classroom and outdoor area set up for pirate themed activities designed to help your child engage with the other children in their class through fun learning activities. Your child will also get to know the routine of the day and many different members of staff besides their class based teachers.
Our learning in this half term is based on language development and communication in English, whilst learning about numbers to 10 in maths. Our class stories will be used to develop your child’s confidence through acting and role play, making videos which will be uploaded to our school Facebook page for you to see how your child is settling in.
As your children may have settled into school life for a number of weeks, we focus our learning now on phonics and the beginning of your child’s reading journey. We use the Read Write Inc phonics scheme developed by Ruth Miskin, one of the UK’s leading authorities on teaching children to read. We have seen a dramatic increase in the children’s reading ability since beginning the scheme in 2019 and we are confident to say that the scheme teaches every child the strategies they need to make the best possible start to their reading journey.
Our topic for the half term is Autumn and we complete a project known as ‘The Wildlife Cafe’ where we research woodland creatures in our local area so that we can design and make a plate of food for them to place in our school grounds. Following this we check each day to see if the animals we selected have come to visit. In previous years we have had, foxes, badgers, squirrels and hedgehogs come to have a feast on our very own playground.
Our topic for this half term is ‘Twisted Tales’ where we read stories such as ‘The Three Little Pigs’ and ‘Goldilocks and the Three Bears’ but the stories have a little twist. The stories have a focus on health and self-care which covers how to keep fit and healthy via healthy eating and fighting germs. We develop our reading and writing skills this half term as we write police reports for Goldilocks and recipes for a healthy balanced pizza.
We also begin our development of thinking scientifically where we explore lots of different materials which could be used for building as in the Three Little Pigs, then we discuss which materials we believe are the best for building before using these materials to build our own houses.
Also this half term we introduce your children to independent challenges in the classroom. There are four independent challenges to complete each week in class: reading, writing, maths and craft. If your child completes all four challenges independently they receive a special reward at the end of the week for showing their ability to attempt to show their learning independently.
During this half term we have a lot of fun and let our imaginations run wild as we have a fairy come to stay. Her name is Fayette and she is a visiting fairy from France. She is a teacher fairy and has the special magic powers to create fairies for the children. She also teaches us how to write and respond to letters.
This half term sees the children get hands on with some design and technology where we work with real tools to build our own fairy doors which we can bring home to carry on the fairy magic in their own homes. Previous years have shown an amazing willingness from parents to keep the magic alive and it really does help the children make a strong link between their learning in school and at home.
We also develop our understanding of the world this half term when we have a french themed week, where our French fairy lets us see what french life is like, with lots of different french foods, songs, dances and our very own Tour de France. We finish our fairy topic with a class trip to a real fairy village where the children will be on the lookout for real fairies. It is a wonderful day where the children experience learning outside of the school building.
St James' CofE is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people. We expect all staff, visitors and volunteers to share this commitment. If you have concerns regarding the safeguarding or welfare of any of our pupils, please contact Rob Andrew or Claire Horridge-Baron
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