Welcome to Class 1

Here you will find what is happening in class 1. There will be curriculum help and links to other websites.

Class 1 Autumn Term Newsletter

Dear Parents and Pupils,

We are now coming to the end of week 3 of the autumn term and many of you and your children are now familiar with some of the routines in Class One. However, as I don’t always get to speak to you all personally, I would like to warmly welcome you to Class One, and provide you with a useful point of reference in the form of this termly newsletter. I apologise in advance to those parents who have had some of this information last year, but a ‘belt and braces’ approach ensures that everyone is kept informed!

The EYFS Curriculum.
In school we often use a range of acronyms and initials, which I appreciate can be confusing. EYFS, for example, stands for Early Years Foundation Stage, which is the curriculum document which both Nursery and Reception children follow. The primary school curriculum is separated into 3 Key Stages: EYFS; Key Stage One (KS1) and; Key Stage Two (KS2). EYFS comprises of Nursery and Reception, KS1 comprises of Years One and Two and KS2 comprises of Years Three, Four, Five and Six. In Class One we have Nursery, Reception and Year One children.

The EYFS classroom is set up to encourage child initiated meaningful play, which the children may refer to as ‘choosing’. By this they mean that they are allowed to choose an area or activity set out, in or outside of the classroom. These areas of learning and activities are carefully planned and arranged to encourage spontaneous learning opportunities. These areas are known as the Continuous Provision. The areas will regularly be enhanced with topic related activities and themes as well as resources to reflect each child’s personal interests throughout the term. In addition to the Continuous Provision, the children will be taught daily Phonics, Maths, Reading and Literacy lessons. Other lessons will be taught relating to the topic or identified areas of need. Initially these sessions will last no more than 10 minutes extending as and when the Reception children are ready.

The Year 1 children are already accessing a more formal approach to their learning following the National Curriculum, which came into effect in September 2014.

We have a very busy and exciting term ahead of us with lots of activities planned, including our forthcoming Class One Assembly on Tuesday 4th October at 9.15am. Once you have dropped off your child at the usual time, pop into the school hall, where there will be tea and coffee for you while you wait!

We also have the whole school Harvest Festival at St Kentigern’s Church on Thursday 6th October at 2.30pm. All children in class on each of these days will take part. Everyone is welcome to both of these events.

Parents of children in Reception, will be invited to have a school lunch with their child on either the 17th, 18th or 19th October, more details will follow.

We open the class doors at 8.40am and parents are welcome to drop off the children any time after. School officially starts at 8.55am prompt. Parents are welcome to come into the classroom with their children. The Reception and Year One pupils place their book bags in the book bag box and during this time we will hear children read, share books and encourage children to take part in the ‘morning activities’. Year One children complete their ‘early morning activities’, which is
always phonics and handwriting based. All Nursery children will have a named box, where we put any letters or items to go home. Please check your child’s box for things to take home. At 9am we will all come together to formally register the children and discuss the day ahead. At 9.10am we have daily phonics. At some point between 9.30am and 10.15am a reading/literacy session will take place. At 10.15am we will stop for fruit and milk. If you would like your child to have milk the term after their 5th birthday, you must register them on the Cool Milk website. Please speak to Mrs Lawson if you need more details about this. Initially I will use this time to reinforce good manners, good hand washing and sharing the fruit, once the routines are established this session will be a good opportunity for children to talk. Playtime starts at 10.30am. The children can, if they wish, buy plain biscuits or crackers. It is entirely up to you if you wish for your children to have snack money. The simplest way to organise this is for your child to have a named purse/wallet with enough small change for a week or two and I will send it home to be replenished when the money has run out! Lots of children do love to buy a couple of biscuits and it is a good ‘real life’ experience of handling money and being allowed to make a simple choice. After break we have our maths activity. The children in Class 1 will go for dinner 15 minutes earlier than the rest of the school; this will give the children 15 minutes of quiet, calmer hall time, plus additional time to eat. Either myself, Mrs Evans or Miss Simpson will be in the hall with the children. Every day they will have a choice from 2 main meals, and the salad bar. We never force children to eat all of their dinner or to have something that they do not like. I will try to
encourage them to eat enough to sustain them for the school day! The afternoon sessions vary depending on the hall availability, PE and ICT are timetabled due to resources. We recommend that PE kit is in school at all times to allow us to take advantage of the good weather when we have it.

Afternoon break is at 2.00pm. Can I remind all parents (including Nursery children) to ensure that your child has wellies, a waterproof and warm coat and spare ‘over’ or waterproof trousers for break times. As you are aware, we like to make full use of the field as it allows all of the children the space and freedom to play the types of games they want to. The waterproof trousers certainly reduce washing of school uniform for you at home too!

We have whole school assemblies at 3.10pm on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Please can I ask that every item of clothing and footwear brought to school is clearly named? We have 10 unnamed sweatshirts in our cloakroom already!

Homework and Reading.
Reception children

It is very unlikely that your child will have a reading book for the first few weeks. I will be focussing on making your children feel safe and happy at school as well as establishing routines and expectations. Once a book does come home there will be a reading record book for you to make comments about the books you have shared. We can use this book for communication if you are not dropping off or collecting that day. Ideally, I would like for the children to share their book with an adult every night, this should take no longer than 5 or 10 minutes.

Year One children
All Year One children have reading books and in addition they will have one piece of homework and a set of phonic related spellings to learn and practise. I will give out spellings and homework and ask for both to be returned to school by Friday.

The Curriculum.
The overall, learning context is Nursery Rhymes. In Class One our focus for each subject will be as follows:

Art - Represent nursery rhymes through art – painting techniques, collage, printing, cutting folding and joining.
D&T Constructing buildings – Joining and strengthening techniques, moving features. Finally create a famous London landmark.
Computing - Programmable toys – Bee bots and TV chefs – step by step photographing a recipe
Geography – Comparing town and country, Capital cities of UK, Look at London and Comparing London and Brasilia
History - Developing an awareness of the past through Nursery Rhymes.
Music- Singing, pitch and rhythm , adding body percussion and adding percussion instruments
PSHE - Healthy Lifestyles and Keeping safe. We have weekly Mindfulness sessions this half term
PE - Multi-skills, Team games, Football and Cricket
RE- Belonging, the importance of the bible, signs and symbols of faith, the importance of celebration and the Christmas story
Science - Everyday materials, describing materials, comparing and identifying man-made and natural, plan an investigation and explore items that float and sink.

We try to keep parents as fully informed about school, visits and anything extra happening in school via school letters. Some parents already have these delivered by email. If anyone would prefer to receive all possible letters this way, please send in your details to the school office. There will of course be occasions when we do not have an electronic version to send and so these will be sent home via your child.

Mrs Evans, Miss Simpson and I are always available for a chat at the start or the end of any day and we would urge you to come in and see us at your earliest convenience should you have any concerns, or questions about what is happening at school.

For a few, this first term can be a quite a traumatic time (usually more so for the parents than the child) but I am more than happy to allay any worries you may have. Equally, should you need to speak to us on the telephone, or arrange an appointment to speak confidentially to us, please leave a message with Mrs Lawson and we will contact you as soon as we possibly can. You can email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

As a teaching headteacher I must take non-contact time away from the class to fulfil my headteacher role and duties. I am not in class on Tuesdays and on alternate Fridays I have my Planning, Preparation and Assessment (PPA) time. During these times Miss Evans will support Mrs Evans and Miss Simpson in class.

Hearing children read/helping out in class
If any parent has the time to come into school to help hear children read or help with a craft or baking activity, then I would encourage you speak to me at your earliest convenience, we very much welcome help from parents in class.

Many thanks for taking the time to read such a lengthy introductory letter and I hope that you do find the information helpful. We are all really looking forward to the year ahead with your children and hope that they all enjoy the curriculum, visits and other exciting opportunities that we have planned for them.

Yours sincerely,

Lynn Harrison. 


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Irthington Village School
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