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January to April 2020

Welcome Back

Welcome to our Spring Newsletter. We hope you have had a fantastic summer holiday. I’ts been amazing to see our children settling in so well and making new friendships. This term our themes will be:

Reception: Traditional Tales & Growing

Nursery: Transport/Places & On the Farm/Growing


Nursery children will begin to learn sounds through our RWI program and will practise oral blending. They will explore new vocabulary linked to Transport and Growing themes and will develop their speaking skills by using extended sentences and including connectives such as and, then, because, but, etc. Children will expand their ability to form letters, write short words and their own name. A variety of stories and books will help them develop their speaking skills and they will learn to answer questions based on texts read in class. In Maths,

pupils will continue to use numbers to 10 and beyond

and will learn to describe shapes and position. They will

explore technological toys by pressing, twisting, and

turning buttons. Children will learn to operate simple

ICT equipment such as CD players, cameras, ipads, etc.

Children will develop their understanding of growth,

decay and changes over time as well as comment on

things they observe.

Their artistic skills will extend through using

construction materials, describing the texture of things

and through exploring music and dance.

In Physical Development we will focus on moving with an

increasing skill (hoping, jumping and skipping) and we

we will practise using tools safely and appropriately.

Our texts for this term:

Whatever Next

Amazing Aeroplanes

Terrific Trains

Cool Cars

Farmer Duck

Rosie’s Walk

On the Farm

What the Ladybird Heard

Noisy farm

Children will continue to learn new sounds to further help them with developing their reading and writing skills. Every Monday they will be writing WEEKEND NEWS to tell us about their weekend. Please encourage your child to discuss verbally what they have done over the weekend.

In Maths pupils will be familiarizing themselves with mathematical language related to measure size, length, capacity, time and money. They will solve problems involving addition and subtraction using practical and mental strategies.

Children will expand their skills in using technology through interactive programs such as Purple Mash, Dazzle and Early Essentials. They will learn about their immediate environment, animals and plants and changes that occur as the new season approaches. Children will start their forest school and investigate the various features of the world around.

Pupils will widen their abilities in Art and Design through investigating a variety of materials, tools and techniques and experimenting with colour, design and texture.

They will master their fine and gross motor skills and learn about how to stay fit and healthy and manage their feelings and behaviour well.


Our texts for this term:

Goldilocks and the Three Bears

Jack and the Beanstalk

The Gruffalo

Little Red Riding Hood


The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Monkey Puzzle

The Paper Dolls

All the Wonderful Things You Will Be.

Important dates this half term:

  • Parent/Carers' consultation evening - Thursday 13th February 2020
  • Half Term break - 17th-21st February 2020
  • Forest Thursday - Commencing 27th February 2020
  • Fun Mum Day - 26th March

Key Messages from the Teachers

  • Please ensure your child has spare clothes left in a bag.
  • Continue to toilet train your child if necessary.
  • Recognising their name on a peg.
  • Please send in family photographs as we will be using them to talk about our family members.
Please collect and send in leaves, twigs, stones and bark – we will be making a story setting for our focus book ‘Owl Babies’ 
  • Support your child with writing their name and putting on/ taking off their coat.
  • Please remember that the children will need their PE kit to be kept in school and a book bag for school communication, resources and homework. Ensure all PE clothes/trainers are labelled.
  • We advise sending in a water bottle so that your child stays hydrated throughout the day.
  • Please make sure you check your child’s book bag daily for any correspondence or homework.
  • We would like to remind you that no food is allowed to be sent to school.
  • Please fill in the slip for the Phonics workshop and return to your child’s class teacher if you would like to participate. 

7 Areas of Learning in EYFS

In EYFS, we focus children’s learning on 7 keys areas; Communication and Language, Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding the World (UW), Physical Development (PD), Personal, Social and Emotional Development (PSED) and Expressive Arts and Design (EAD). Every half term, children develop their skills in these areas through a topic.

Communication & Language

In C&L, children will develop their listening and speaking skills through listening to and talking about traditional tales.  Children will also listen to and sing songs to develop their vocabulary. We will continue to help your child extend their vocabulary, through careful questions, role play and help them develop their concentration skills, so that they can listen attentively and respond to question.

Useful EYFS Links

Parent Guide
Parent Guide 2
Development Matters


In Literacy, children will continue to develop their reading and writing skills. They will learn to read, say and write initial and final sounds. Children will continue to read and write CVC words. Some children will progress to writing sentences with capital letters, full stops and finger spaces. Some children will begin to write series of sentences based on a weekly text This will be completed in RWI and English lessons. Children will read the following books as part of their English lessons; – The Very Hungry Caterpillar, The Teeny Weeny Tadpole, Monkey Puzzle and Paper Dolls.

Phonics and Reading Websites

Reading at Home 1

Reading at Home 2


In Maths, children will continue to develop their knowledge and understanding of number. They will learn to recognise numerals out of context. They will learn the names of 3D solids (cube, cuboid, cone, sphere, cylinder, prism) and match them to everyday objects. Children will learn how to double, share and sequence events. Children will also deepen their understanding of addition and subtraction.

Useful Websites

Maths Through Play

Understanding the World

In UW, children will cover a variety of areas. They will discuss past and present events, and begin to show an understanding the future. They will look at the life cycle of a butterfly and frog, they will closely observe how plants grow and will be growing their own. Children will also learn more about online safety and will begin to log in to computers and complete a programme.

Physical Development

In PD, children will continue to develop both their gross motor skills and their fine motor skills. They will develop their manipulation skills through cutting, sticking, using scissors safely and with control, painting, drawing and tracing through activities linked other curriculum areas (making 3D models, vehicles, daffodils, puppets and Easter and Mothers day crafts). Children will also learn how to get undressed and dressed for PE more independently, particularly buttons and shirts. They will also develop their balance and movement skills, including jumping and landing, making shapes, travelling with control, changing direction and throwing and catching.

Personal, Social and Emotional Development

Children will continue to develop their social skills through carrying out collaborative tasks and play activities. They will be given opportunities to solve problems without aggression. Children will also begin to listen to other children, and take their ideas into account when planning activities. They will also begin to talk more about their preferences and preferred activities.

Expressive Arts and Design

In EAD, children will develop their skills in singing, playing instruments and dance through a wide selection of songs, rhymes and chants. Children will learn the tadpole song and the hungry caterpillar song along with some nursery rhymes. They will take part in the craft activities mentioned above.

Child-Initiated Learning Through Play

In Reception, much of children’s learning comes through child-initiated play. Children are provided with a wide range of indoor and outdoor activities, from which they choose activities they wish to partake in. Furthermore, children are given a challenge each week Please ask your child’s teacher what the challenge is, so that you can help them achieve it.


In Reception, children are given 1 piece of homework each Friday, which supports either their Maths or English learning. Please ensure this is completed and returned by the following Wednesday.

Children are also given a reading book and diary which is changed each week. We read the books on different days, so please ensure your child brings in their book every day.

Children are also given a set of common words to learn. We check children’s knowledge of these each week. Please sit with your child regularly to help them learn their words.

How to Help

Please support your child by reading their school reading book with them daily for 10 minutes and leave a comment and a signature in their reading diary. Your child will also be given a card with termly challenges. We strongly encourage you to assist your child with completing these as this is a great way to consolidate and extend their learning. You will find the card in your child’s Homework book. 

The Shaftesbury Pledge

This is our school, where we learn and grow together,

May we respect everybody, today and forever.

We are a family at Shaftesbury - growing and learning as one,

May we be caring, friendly, polite and have fun.

The 5 Cs

  • Care
  • Courtesy
  • Consideration
  • Co-operation
  • Commitment

Please help children learn their school pledge and the 5 Cs.

Online Safety

Do you know what your child is doing online?

  • Check the internet history to see what your child has been doing.
  • Let children use devices in a communal room (living room or kitchen) so that you can monitor what they are doing.
  • Have conversations with your child about what they are doing online. 
  • Ask them about the dangers they are aware of.
  • Ask them questions about what they should do if they have a problem or see something that upsets them

Visit the following website for more help and support


Child Protection – Reminder

The Lead Child Protection Officer at Shaftesbury is Ms. Hussain

The Deputy Child Protection Officer is Ms McDonnell

If you have any concerns about a child please contact the Safeguarding team on 0208 472 0761

Thank you.

Reception Teachers:

  • EYFS Lead: Ms. Kicman

Class Teachers:

  • Ms Godla (RG)
  • Ms Saiyed (RS)
  • Ms Mani (RM)